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Arms Decree for Georgia. International resonance2009-01-21 14:23
January 19: Russia's President signed a decree on "Ban on sale of military and double-purpose products to Georgia". Ukraine's reaction was rather pained.
The decree prohibiting supplies, sales or transition of arms and military equipment and relevant items of support as well as double-purpose products that could be used in warfare to Georgia covers individuals and legal entities. The same goes true for provision of services connected with maintenance and operation of arms and military equipment.
However the Decree deals not only with the territory of Russia. From now on the government is assigned to introduce "special economic measures" against foreign states supplying weapons to Georgia. Moreover if these are weapons produced in Russia or the Soviet Union the military and technical cooperation with such countries will be limited or completely stopped.
So far the only country that has tried to prohibit selling arms to other states by law was the USA. Russian defense enterprises often suffered from their sanctions. The latest fact took place last autumn when the USA announced introduction of sanctions against "Rosoboronexport" including all subsidiaries. At that time 12 more companies from Venezuela, Syria, Iran, China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, South Korea, Sudan and the United Arabian Emirates were penalized. The basis of such severe measures was the "Act on non-proliferation of arms to Iran, North Korea and Syria" adopted by the US Congress.
Speaking about the Russian president's decision the director of Strategies and Technologies Analysis Center Ruslan Pukhov stated to RIA Novosti: "This is an absolutely new phenomenon in the Russian foreign policy. This is a measure of pressure and warning to the countries that are ready to supply arms and military equipment to Georgia even today half a year after August events in South Ossetia hunting after money or in view of Russophoebic sentiment".
First of all it concerns Ukraine, Poland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Bosnia that were major arms suppliers to Saakashvili's regime before the war in South Ossetia. The politologist also reminded that at the time of the military operations the Georgian army had been driving not only American Hammers but also KAMAZes that Georgia had bought in Russia.
Ukraine's Ministry of Defense took the information on Medvedev's Decree with bewilderment. "We depend on each other in terms of equipment in our inventory", - the director of arms development and procurement department Vladimir Grek said in his interview with "Kommersant". - We depend on Russians and they depend on us".
He made a threatening forecast: Ukraine will have to give an adequate response in case of negative consequences, i.e. start searching for new partners in Europe. This is what the country's authorities will have to do. "We have never prevented our enterprises from execution of Russian Defense Ministry's orders so far, - Grek reminded. - But if the confrontation begins we will have to do something".
He made a reservation saying that Ukraine did not supply to Georgia at the moment. But only "because there are no orders". And if the orders renew they will be considered without fail.
Cheerful tone and assertions of the development and procurement department director do not seem quite well-grounded.
As early as in December while analyzing the consequences of Ukrainian arms supplies to Georgia at the defense round table in Kiev ex leader of the relevant Verkhovnaya Rada committee Georgy Kryuchkov assumed that Russia would bury the Ukrainian military-industrial complex by way of a retaliatory measure.