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Russia terminates early-warning radar agreement with Ukraine

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  • Russia terminates early-warning radar agreement with Ukraine

    SOURCE: RIA Novosti
    DATE: JAN 25, 2008

    Russia terminates early-warning radar agreement with Ukraine

    MOSCOW - Russian lawmakers terminated on Friday an agreement with Ukraine on early warning and space monitoring systems, citing Ukraine's failure to provide adequate technical support to radar facilities located on its territory.

    Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement on leasing the Mukachevo and Sevastopol early warning stations to Russia in February 1997. The document stipulated that Russia would cover all the facilities' operating costs, totaling $4 million per year, while Ukraine would be responsible for their maintenance.

    Speaking at a session of the lower house of the Russian parliament, Nikolai Pankov, a deputy defense minister, said Ukraine had practically stopped fulfilling its obligations under the agreement in favor of future integration into NATO.

    "Regarding national security issues, Ukraine's foreign policy is more and more oriented towards NATO integration," Pankov said, adding that the future use of Ukrainian facilities could threaten Russia's security through "possible leaks of strategic information from its early warning and space monitoring systems to third countries."

    Several years ago, Russia launched a program for the development of Russia's Space Forces, which includes building and using early warning radars on its own territory alone.

    Russia currently leases ground-based radar stations in Sevastopol and Mukachevo in Ukraine; in Baranovichi, Belarus; Balkhash in Kazakhstan; and Gabala in Azerbaijan. It also has radars on its own territory in Murmansk (arctic northwest), Pechora (northwest Urals), and Irkutsk (east Siberia).

    On Friday, Russia's Space Forces Commander Colonel General Vladimir Popovkin said a new Voronezh-type radar in Lekhtusi, Leningrad Region, would be put on combat alert this year without delays.

    Another Voronezh-type radar is being built in Armavir in southwest Russia. It is expected to be put on combat duty in 2009.

    With effective range of 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) a Voronezh-type radar has capabilities similar to its predecessors, the Dnepr and Daryal, which are currently deployed outside Russia, but uses less energy and meets current environmental standards.

    Pankov said the addition of new radars would provide comprehensive and reliable early warning coverage of the whole of Russia's territory.

    Russia's upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, is to consider the bill to terminate the radar agreement with Ukraine on January 30, with analysts saying the bill is likely to be unanimously approved.

    In line with the agreement, Russia will stop fulfilling its obligations 12 months after officially notifying Ukraine of its intentions.

    Meanwhile, Russian lawmakers ratified on Friday an intergovernmental agreement with Ukraine on the extension of the operation of 15P118M missile launchers for RS-20 heavy ballistic missiles (NATO classification Satan). The launchers are manufactured by Ukraine's Yuzhmash company.

    The agreement was coordinated during a visit by the Ukrainian defense minister to Moscow in 2006 and established that Ukraine would assist Russia in maintaining systems that have been on combat duty for the past 15 years for another 10-15 years.

    With this agreement in force, Russia will not have to decommission the existing missiles and manufacture more new Topol-M systems, which would stretch the defense budget by $3-4 billion. Rings a bell somehow...