Friday, November 22, 2013

Ukraine has suspended preparations for a trade deal with the EU.

A government statement said the decision had been taken to protect Ukraine's "national security". Hours earlier MPs rejected a bill that would have allowed jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko to leave the country - which the EU had demanded as a condition for the deal to proceed. Ukraine had come under intense pressure from Russia not to sign the historic EU deal at a summit next week. The Ukrainian government said on Thursday that it was instead looking into setting up a joint commission to promote ties between Ukraine, Russia and the European Union. Russian officials said they welcomed any Ukrainian moves to foster closer relations. Russia wants Ukraine to join its own customs union with Kazakhstan and Belarus, which it sees as a prototype rival to the European Union.
The EU's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton called the decision a "disappointment". "We believe that the future for Ukraine lies in a strong relationship with the EU," she said in a statement. Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych was later quoted by AFP as saying Ukraine "will work further on this path... to EU integration" - although it is not clear how this will now be achieved. Stefan Fuele, European commissioner for enlargement, cancelled a trip to Kiev after news of the decision broke. He had been due to travel to the Ukrainian capital for the second time this week on Thursday. He tweeted that it was "hard to overlook in reasoning for today's decision [the] impact of Russia's recent unjustified economic & trade measures". Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt went further, saying Ukraine had "bowed deeply" to the Kremlin, which he accused of using the "politics of brutal pressure".

Monday, November 11, 2013

Poland interested in Ukraine's high-precision anti-tank weapons

KYIV, November 7 /Ukrinform/. Poland is interested in purchasing the latest high-precision anti-tank missile system "Barrier-B", developed and produced by the Luch State Design Bureau, which is part of the State Concern Ukroboronprom. This was stated by Waldemar Skrzypczak, Polish Deputy Minister of Defense, responsible for armament and modernization, during the International Exhibition Defense and Security 2013, Ukroboronprom's press office said in a statement. "The Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland expect updates of anti-missile systems and the modernization of weapons of combat helicopters. We are ready to consider the purchase of advanced 105mm anti-tank guided missiles produced in Ukraine by the Luch design office. We are interested in the prospect of joint production of high-precision weapons," Skrzypczak noted. The sides agreed that prior to a meeting the Polish-Ukrainian subcommittee on defense cooperation, to be held this month in Kyiv, Ukraine will provide the relevant technical and commercial proposals. 

The anti-tank long-range guided missile system (ATGM) Barrier, a design by the Luch State Design Bureau, is intended to defeat armored targets at distances from 100 to 5,000 meters. The Barrier ATGM system comprises part of the SHKVAL remotely controlled unmanned turret for armored personnel carriers and armored infantry fighting vehicles, among them the all-new Ukrainian-designed  BTR-3E1 and BTR-4, and the upgraded BMP-1M infantry fighting vehicle. The SHKVAL turret accommodates two Barrier ATGM containers with ready-to-launch missiles.