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06KIEV3710, UKRAINE: OFFICIALS DENY THAT KOLCHUGAS SOLD TO IRAN

September 26, 2006

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06KIEV3710 2006-09-26 14:32 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXRO0776
PP RUEHDBU
DE RUEHKV #3710 2691432
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 261432Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY KIEV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1637
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 0148

C O N F I D E N T I A L KIEV 003710 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/26/2016 
TAGS: PARM PREL ETTC PINR IR UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: OFFICIALS DENY THAT KOLCHUGAS SOLD TO IRAN 
 
REF: KIEV 1921 
 
Classified By: Ambassador for reasons 1.4 (b,d). 
 
1. (U) The Jane's Defense Weekly, dated September 27, 2006, 
carried a story, strangely datelined Bangkok, reporting that 
Ukraine had recently delivered or was imminently preparing to 
deliver an unknown number of Kolchuga systems to Iran for an 
estimated price of USD25 million per system.  As accurately 
detailed in the article, the Kolchuga-M passive detection 
system is truck-mounted and detects aircraft electromagnetic 
emissions in the VHF, UHF, and SHF wavebands.  It identifies 
and tracks incoming aircraft at long range for acquisition by 
separate air defense systems.  In 2002, Ukraine's alleged 
sales of Kolchugas to Iraq strained its relations with the 
U.S., although no Kolchugas were subsequently found in Iraq. 
 
2. (C) On September 25, Ambassador asked First Deputy Prime 
Minister Mykola Azarov about the accuracy of the report. 
Azarov said he doubted the report was true, but promised to 
look into it.  In a separate conversation, Deputy Foreign 
Minister Andriy Veselovsky suggested to Ambassador that some 
UK publications were known to take money from the Russians, 
so should not be trusted. 
 
3. (C) Also on September 25 DCM contacted MFA Arms Control 
and Military Technical Cooperation Department Director 
Volodymyr Belashov to ask about the accuracy of the report. 
Belashov said during the year's time that he held his current 
position, he had been part of the interagency committee under 
the President's office that approved requests for export 
licenses of military and dual-use technology.  During his 
time on the committee, he had seen no requests for exports of 
military technology or equipment to Iran and that this report 
was completely unexpected - "like snow in summer."  Ukrainian 
companies selling or servicing military hardware were aware 
of the restrictions on doing business with Iran and so 
generally avoided doing business with the country.  Ukrainian 
firms only had some non-military cooperation with Iranian 
counterparts.  Nevertheless, MFA had immediately reacted to 
the initial story to verify its possible accuracy.  Written 
inquiries had gone out to the Ukrainian Security Service 
(SBU) and th 
e State Export Committee with negative initial results, but 
MFA was awaiting additional confirmation. 
 
4. (C) Belashov argued that a clandestine sale to Iran was 
difficult.  In the export-licensing process, state-owned 
purveyors of military hardware and technology had to receive 
approvals at each stage of doing business with foreign 
governments.  First, the companies had to receive permission 
to negotiate a possible sale, then again to sign a contract, 
and then receive final permission actually to deliver their 
product.  Belashov averred that the SBU, the State Customs 
Service, and the State Border Guards Service would have 
detected any unauthorized shipment of Kolchugas to Iran.  The 
one possible route for Kolchugas to end up in Iran, he 
admitted, would be the sale/third-party transfer (in 
violation of the end-use certificate) by a country that 
already possessed Kolchugas.  Belashov noted that Ukraine had 
sold Kolchugas to China and Turkmenistan. 
 
5. (C)  Belashov noted that the story originally appeared 
either September 23 or 24 in a British tabloid, and was only 
subsequently picked up by Jane's.  Belashov asked DCM to 
consider who would have the motivation to plant such a story 
in the press.  (We were informally advised, however, that the 
information for the news story originated from Vietnamese 
arms traders working in Central Europe.) 
 
6. (U) Note: While in New York to attend the UN General 
Assembly session, the media reported Ukrainian FM Tarasyuk 
met with his Iranian counterpart, Manuchehr Mottaki, 
September 22 to discuss joint production of the AN-140 
aircraft.  The two officials agreed to hold a session of the 
Ukraine-Iran commission for trade and economic cooperation 
before the end of 2006.  The article observed that trade 
turnover between Ukraine and Iran grew in 2005 by 34 percent 
over 2004, reaching U.S. $595 million.  End note. 
 
7. (U) We will follow up with Belashov September 26. 
 
8. (U) Visit Embassy Kiev's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
Taylor

Wikileaks

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