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Arms scandal: getting rid of extras?2008-12-29 09:43
According to the first deputy of Ukraine's Chief of Defense colonel general Gennady Vorobyev combat capabilities of the country were not damaged as a result of arms sale to Georgia. The general stated that for the arms supplies some "extras" were used beyond the scope of the development program.
On December 19 the head of the parliamentary committee on arms supplies to Georgia Valery Konovalyuk came forward with the report on the results of the investigation. He repeated once again: Georgia had received Ukrainian arms under authority of President Viktor Yushenko - at dumping prices by the way. Besides 90 per cent of the revenue had vanished. According to the chairman of the committee the president is involved in it too. Consequently the defense capacity of Ukraine was severely damaged. Summing up his report Konovalyuk proposed to impeach the president. The Rada however decided to pass a warning to the president instead of impeachment. The investigation materials will be submitted to the Prosecutor General's office for further study while the
committee that has stopped its work is dissolved.
The next day Gennady Vorobyev, first deputy of Ukraine's Chief of Defense, came to the parliament. He did his best to deny Konovalyuk's conclusions stating that Ukraine's combat capability had not been damaged as a result of the sale of arms.
As he says the 2006-2001 state program of Ukraine's armed forces development provided for disposal of a part of arms systems and equipment. In 2006 all the extras were passed over to the relevant departments of the Defense Ministry for a decision on their further use to be taken. The general stated that the arms supplies had been made out of these "extras" beyond the scope of the development program.
Vorobyev also stated that the Buk-M1 SAM system that the state-owned company "Ukrspetsexport" sold to Georgia "was declared operationally expired in 2006 and was submitted to Balakleya plant for repair the same year", - Vovremya.info quotes.
"This unit out of the active inventory was withdrawn in accordance with the decision of Ukraine's Cabinet and without the combat capability of the armed forces and units being harmed", - Vorobyev emphasized adding that Ukraine had excessive air defense equipment".
Quite a few parliamentarians and war experts agree to the general's assertions and keep insisting that the country's defense potential was significantly crippled. Not only as a result of supplies to Georgia.