World » Former USSR
Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Ukraine continues to sell military hardware to Georgia receiving 800 million dollars of profit

Ukraine has received about $800 million of profit from the export of arms in 2008. Sergey Bondarchuk, the chairman of the state-run company Ukrspetsexport, said that the nation’s arms export in 2007 brought the profit of $700 million and nearly $800 million – in 2008.

Ukraine has recently expanded the geography of its arms shipments, the official said. Ukraine particularly signed a $400-million contract with India for technical servicing and modernization of An-32 aircraft.

“We have also signed a deal with Vietnam to deliver passive and active radiolocation equipment to the nation - $54 million $50 million respectively. We are cooperating with China too, making an emphasis on scientific developments. We think about the quality of our products and want other countries to see Ukraine as a reliable partner,” Bondarchuk said.

“We offer armored vehicles, small arms, tanks and ammunition to Thailand, Chad and Kenya,” the official added.

Ukrspetsexport continues executing its arms contracts to Georgia. “We will continue executing the contracts until the UN Security Council makes a decision to ban them. We will consider new orders, in case they emerge, in connection with the norms of the international law and the law of Ukraine,” Sergey Bondarchuk said.

“Everything that we do is absolutely legal,” he added.

Sergey Bondarchuk confirmed the deliveries of Osa, Buk and Kolchuga-M missile complexes to Georgia, as well as the deliveries of Mi-8, Mi-24 helicopters and armored vehicles.

Russia is extremely concerned about Ukraine’s arms contracts with Georgia. Russian officials repeatedly claimed that Ukraine provided an extensive military assistance to Georgia to help the nation prepare for the war against South Ossetia.

The official website of Russia’s Defense Ministry published a report in May of this year about the military assistance of foreign countries to Georgia. The report listed the quantities and types of military hardware that Ukraine delivered to Georgia. However, the information presented by the Russian Defense Ministry differed from the report, which Ukraine provided to the UN.

For example, Ukraine’s report said that Georgia received 16 tanks from Ukraine, although the Russian report states a different number - 31 tanks.

It is worthy of note that Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko told her Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during her visit to Moscow on April 29, 2009, that the information about Ukraine’s arms shipments to Georgia was not true to fact. Russia’s Ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, stated recently that Kiev continued to deliver military hardware to Tbilisi, Lenta.ru reports.

From 2007 to 2008, Georgia reportedly received the following types of military hardware from Ukraine: 40 T-72B tanks, 14 Osa missile complexes, 60 BTR-70 armored vehicles, 100 million cartridges, 17,000 Kalashnikov rifles and other types of arms. The Georgian army used the arms during its aggression against South Ossetia.