Ukrainian Envoy, Pentagon Deny U.S.-Kyiv Talks On Missile Defense
October 16, 2009
WASHINGTON -- The Ukrainian Embassy in Washington has denied a report that U.S. and Ukrainian officials have met to discuss using radar stations in Ukraine for U.S. missile defense, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.
Western agencies cited a report from Interfax Ukraine that quoted U.S. Ambassador Oleh Shamshur as saying that preliminary talks with members of the Obama administration have taken place.
But Ruslan Nimchynski, a counselor at the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, told RFE/RL on October 15 that the report is incorrect.
Nimchynski said Shamshur told him from Kyiv that there have been "no talks whatsoever" between the two countries on the use of Ukrainian radar.
A Pentagon official, Major Shawn Smith, also said the United States has not held such negotiations with Ukraine.
He added, however, that "a number of countries in Europe, including Ukraine, have indicated they may have the capability to cooperate with the United States through the use of radar stations."
Former U.S. President George W. Bush had planned to deploy interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic.
Moscow objected to the plan, complaining that Russia was the real target of the antimissile shield. Last month, President Barack Obama announced he was scrapping the Bush plan in favor of a mobile, sea-based system, a decision that Moscow tentatively welcomed.
Copyright (c) 2009. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|