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08KYIV1631, UKRAINE: OFFER OF MISSILE WARNING COOPERATION MORE

August 18, 2008

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08KYIV1631 2008-08-18 16:05 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKV #1631 2311605
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 181605Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6234
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L KYIV 001631 
 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/18/2018 
TAGS: PARM PGOV PINR PREL UP
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: OFFER OF MISSILE WARNING COOPERATION MORE 
POLITICAL THAN PRACTICAL 
 
Classified By: Charge for reasons 1.4 (b,d) 
 
1.   (C) Summary and Comment:  On August 16, Ukraine's MFA 
announced that Ukraine was ready to develop active 
cooperation on early warning and missile monitoring systems 
with "European countries."  It also stated that President 
Yushchenko on August 13 ordered Ukraine's withdrawal from a 
1992 missile defense agreement with Russia. This follows 
Russia's announced withdrawal from the agreement in February 
2008.  The two early warning radars that Ukraine has offered 
for integration into a wider monitoring system, based in 
Mukacheve in western Ukraine and Sevastopol in Crimea, are 
short-to-medium-range tactical systems.  The same systems 
were offered for use to Lt. General Obering, head of the US 
Missile Defense Agency, during his early 2007 visit to 
Ukraine -- discussions on this offer are ongoing.  Post views 
the Ukrainian statement, which generated extensive 
international media coverage, primarily as a political signal 
(vice military/technical) regarding Ukraine's ongoing hopes 
for further military cooperation and integration with the 
West, and as a counter to Russia's negative reaction to the 
US-Polish Missile Defense agreement.   End Summary and 
Comment. 
 
MFA Announces Readiness to Cooperate 
------------------------------------ 
 
2.  (C) On August 16, Ukraine's MFA announced publicly that 
it was ready to develop active cooperation with "European" 
countries on early warning and missile monitoring systems. 
(Note: Since at least early 2007, the U.S. and Ukraine 
privately have been discussing the possibility of using these 
radars as part of U.S. missile defense.  U.S. and Ukrainian 
experts continue to discuss the capabilities of the radars to 
assess their potential suitability in a missile detection and 
tracking system, but no decision has been on whether the U.S. 
will be interested in using these radars.  End Note.)  The 
move, which came out as a presidential decree on August 13, 
was seen by many as evidence of Yushchenko's desire to move 
closer to the West on security issues and underlined 
continuing Ukraine-Russian tensions.  It also served as a 
counterweight to Russia's negative reaction to the bilateral 
U.S.-Polish Missile Defense agreement.  The MFA statement 
noted that closer cooperation with Europe on missile early 
warning systems became possible after Russia withdrew from 
its 1992 missile defense agreement with Ukraine in February 
2008.  According to the MFA statement,the early warning 
systems in question are located in Mukacheve in western 
Ukraine and Sevastopol in Crimea. 
 
3.  (U) The MFA stated that "The Russian Federation's 
withdrawal from the bilateral agreement between the Russian 
and Ukrainian governments on early warning and outer space 
monitoring systems, makes it unfeasible for Ukraine to 
further participate in the July 6, 1992 treaty."  The MFA 
added that "this will enable Ukraine to establish active 
cooperation with European countries to integrate Ukrainian 
early warning systems with other systems, and possibly other 
foreign states...."  It noted that termination of the 
agreement will go into effect one year after written 
notification of withdrawal from the agreement by either side. 
 (Note:  This seems to indicate that the agreement will 
officially be terminated in February 2009.  End note.) 
 
4.  (C) Many viewed Russia's decision to pull out as a sign 
of disapproval for Ukraine's application for NATO MAP in the 
run-up to the NATO Summit in Bucharest in April 2008. 
However some press accounts reported that Russia decided to 
transfer early warning functions from Mukacheve and 
Sevastopol to other locations in Russia because the technical 
service life of the facilities in Ukraine had expired in 
2005.  MFA NATO Deputy DG Vadym Prystaiko also told Post 
August 17 that the radar systems, which are now under the 
control of Ukraine's Space Agency, generated  decent "rental" 
income from Russia, and that the GOU is looking actively for 
other funding sources. 
 
5. (U) Visit Embassy Kyiv's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
PETTIT

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