Archive for August, 2010

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Amendments to the amendments on the forthcoming elections

August 31, 2010

Well dear readers, as you will be aware from historical posts, the delay in local and regional elections has been my biggest criticism of the new authorities (even if the idea was not theirs but from the OU-PSD).

You will recall I was pleased…..briefly……when the elections were scheduled for 31 October……to once again be displeased by an amendment allowing only parties registered for more than 1 year to particiapte, meaning the Ukrainian Beer Lovers Party could participate but not the parties of Tigipko and Yatensiuk who came 3rd and 4th respectively in the Presidential elections earlier in the year.

Anyway, yesterday, this has been reversed by the ruling coalition and all registered parties can participate…..which means if they do, there will be 189 parties competing…….and a very long tickey box list on the ballot paper!

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How to become a Top 10 Arms Exporter

August 30, 2010
Reporting country:  Ukraine
   
Original language:  Russian Calendar year: 2008
Background information provided:  yes Date of submission: 1 June 2009

EXPORTS

    A B C D E
    REMARKS
    Category (I-VII)
    Final importer
    State(s)
    Number
    of items
    State of origin(if not exporter)

    Interme-diate location (if any)
    Description
    of item
    Comments on the transfer
    I.
    Battle tanks Kenya
    Georgia
    33
    1
    T-72
    T-72
    II.
    Armoured combat vehicles Georgia

    USA
    Iraq
    Azerbaijan
    Chad

    15
    25
    1
    4
    32
    80
    8
    BMP-1
    BTR-70
    BMP-3
    BREM
    BTR-70
    BMP-1
    BTR-3E
    III.
    Large-calibre artillery systems Azerbaijan
    Israel
    Kenya
    Latvia
    18
    1
    6
    1
    2C1
    BM-21
    BM-21
    Isu-152122mm howitzer

    For museum

    IV.
    Combat aircraft USA

    Estonia
    Congo
    South Africa
    Chad

    1
    2
    7
    1
    1
    3
    MiG-29UB
    Su-27UB
    L-39
    AN-12BK
    L-39
    Su-25Demilitarized

    Demilitarized
    Demilitarized

    V.
    Attack helicopters Chad
    Nigeria
    2
    3
    Mi-24
    Mi-24
    VII.
    Missiles and a) missile launchers
     
    b)
    Azerbaijan

    USA

    Azerbaijan

    21
    3

    120
    9
    25
    18
    10

    R-27 missiles
    Launchers: 9P129-1M and “Tochka-U”

    9M313 “Igla-1”
    9P519 “Igla-1”
    9P58 “Strela2M”
    9M36-1 “Strela-3”
    9P58M “Strela-3”

    Missiles
    Launching mechanisms
    Launching mechanisms
    Missiles
    Launching mecahnisms



IMPORTS

    A B C D E
    REMARKS
    Category (I-VII)
    Final importer
    State(s)
    Number
    of items
    State of origin(if not exporter)

    Interme-diate location (if any)
    Description
    of item
    Comments on the transfer
    II.
    Armoured combat vehicles Czech Republic
    Hungary
    50
    50
    BMP-1
    BMP-1K-3
    III.
    Large-calibre artillery systems Hungary
    54
    2C1, 122mm howitzer
    V.
    Attack helicopters Germany
    1
    Bo-105



BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Title
Language
Small Arms and Light Weapons  

 

  •  
    •  
        Information on international transfers of small arms

        EXPORTS

 

A
B
C
D
E
REMARKS
Final importer State(s)
Number of items
State of origin
(if not exporter)
Intermediate location (if any)
Description
of item
Comments on the transfer
SMALL ARMS
1. Revolvers and self loading pistols Azerbaijan
Canada

Germany

Czech Republic

Turkmenistan

1
200
200
1,000
560
1,100
50
240
200
2
3
3
10
9mm pistol Fort -14TP
7,62mm pistols TT
7,62mm revolver Nagan
7,62mm revolver Nagan
7,62mm pistols TT
9mm pistols PM
9mm pistols PM
7,62mm pistols TT
7,62mm revolver Nagan
9mm pistol Fort -12
9mm pistols Fort -14TP
9mm pistols Fort -17
4,5mm pistols SPS-6
2. Rifles and carbines Austria

Azerbaijan
Canada

Czech Republic

Germany

UK

USA

50
200
50
150
200
3,495
200
180
210
500
500
1,300
1,300
17,220
1,900
6,800
11,410
7,62mm sniper rifle CVD
7,62mm rifle SVT
7,62mm sniper rifle CVD
7,62mm rifle SVT
7,62mm rifle mod. 1891/1930
7,62mm carbines SKS
7,62mm rifle mod. 1891/1930
7,62mm rifle SVT
7,62mm carbines SKS
7,62mm carbine mod.1938
7,62mm carbine mod.1944
7,62mm rifle mod. 1891/1930
7,62mm rifle SVT
7,62mm rifle mod.1891/1930
7,92mm rifle VZ-24
7,92mm carbine Mauser 98K
7,62mm rifle mod. 1891/1930
3. Sub-machine guns Austria
Czech Republic

France

Luxembourg

Turkmenistan
UK

700
100
350

150
200
300
200
650

400

10
5,000
500

7,62mm sub-machine gun PPSh
7,62mm sub-machine gun AKM
11,43mm submachine gun Tompson
7,62mm sub-machine gun PPS
7,62mm sub-machine gun PPSh
7,62mm sub-machine gun PPSh
7,62mm sub-machine gun PPS
11,43mm submachine gun Tompson
11,43mm submachine gun Tompson
5,66mm sub-machine gun APS
7,62mm sub-machine gun AKM
11,43mm submachine gun Tompson
5. Light machine guns Austria
Czech Republic

France

Georgia
UK

26
30
30
50
200
1,080
264
7,62mm machine gun Maxim
7,92mm machine gun ZB-30
7,62mm machine gun Maxim
7,92mm machine gun ZB-30
7,62mm machine gun DP
5,45mm machine gun RPK-74
7,62mm machine gun Maxim
Light weapon
2. Hand-held under-barrel mounted grenade launchers Azerbaijan
30
Under-barrel grenade launcher
GP-25

 

    • IMPORTS

     

    A
    B
    C
    D
    E
    REMARKS
    Exporter State(s)
    Number of items
    State of origin
    (if not exporter)
    Intermediate location (if any)
    Description
    of item
    Comments on the transfer
    SMALL ARMS
    1. Revolvers and self-loading pistols Austria
    20
    185
    9mm pistol Glock-26
    9mm pistol Glock-17
    EUC 9/202 of 12.06.08
    EUC 11/12-295/Oc 20.10.08
    EUC 9/202of 12.06.08
    2. Rifles and carbines Russia
    6
    9mm sniper rifle VSS EUC 222/5D/2493 15.11.07
    3. Sub-machine guns Belgium
    30
    P-90 “Tactical Visible Laser” EUC 9/200 of 12.06.08
    EUC 9/201 of 12.06.08
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    China invests in Ukraine’s Black Sea Shelf

    August 29, 2010

    Well dear readers, China and Ukraine have signed an agreement to develop the Black Sea Shelf, home to an aweful lot of untapped oil and gas.

    It is of course, early days, and the agreement signed was for a mear $200 million which would suggest a deal has been done over exploration of a particular zone on the Black Sea Shelf or some form of on shore refinery.  Quite simply the money is not big enough for anything more major than that.

    From people I know in high places, the Black Sea Shelf has been zoned into numerous plots which can and will be allocated or tendered to interested parties although quite a number of the best zones involve deep sea drilling and would render the amount of entities capable of carrying out the drilling fairly small.

    Certainly I know BP, Shell and Chevron have expressed an interest but I am not sure how far they have gone in negotiations.

    After all, tenders are expensive, exploration is expensive, drilling is expensiv, refining is expensive and then there is the split between Ukraine and contractor as well on profits on the commodity.

    MP Valeriy Konovaliuk stated "This is only the start of the realization of large scale bilateral projects".

    Of course the benefits to China and Ukraine, both of whom have large energy ties relating to Russia are quite obvious by removing Russia from this very small part of the energy equation of the region.  The question will be, how much of the Black Sea Shelf will Ukraine allow China to develop without souring other important bilateral relationships?

    Anyway, progress nonetheless.

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    Getting charity donations into Ukraine – apparantly it’s hard?

    August 28, 2010

    Well dear readers, what do you think about this artcile?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/leeds/hi/people_and_places/newsid_8944000/8944377.stm

    Several points come immediately to mind here…..

    “He was horrified by the state of the uncomfortable, unsuitable beds in use at the local hospital. So, he asked us if we could help.”

    That statement I find hard to believe.  The guy is Ukrainian, born and raised and in the UK on a scholarship.  His wife and (now) child obviously still in Ukraine or he would not have returned of course.

    To be doing a post-graduate scholarship in the UK, that will make him at least 24 years old and will have exposed him to Ukrainian hospitals for 24 years……at least.  If he was truly shocked (and I doubt it) then he must live in a Ukrainian cocoon here.

    “However, it’s not just a matter of the physical shifting of the beds – these things have to be signed for by officials in the Ukraine and that proved a problem as there’s just been a change of government over there and finding the right people to sign off the paperwork was a bit of a nightmare. Even more so, now that the government is more Pro-Russian and less inclined to look favourably on help from Western Europe.”

    Absolute piffle. 

    There is a Rotary Club in Kyiv who could have sorted it all out for her.  There is the UK Embassy in Kyiv who would have gladly assisted.  Even I, without help from anybody, have managed to get several charitable donations into Ukraine from the UK, USA and Canada on different occasions without any difficulties under both this and the previous administration.

    If she has had problems with this simple task, then it is mostly due to her own short-comings because it is not hard to do at all!

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    UK changes passport style again

    August 27, 2010

    Well dear readers, what to say about this?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11071998

    This new style passport that comes into physical issuance in October this year will mean there will be 3 different styled official UK passports in operation amongst its citizenary.

    I, for example have a passport issued in 2004 which is still valid and in active use until 2014. 

    In 2006, a new style passport was issued with a chip in it to please the USA and remove the requirement for UK citizens to apply for Visas for the USA.

    In October 2010, the next generation passport comes into force…….whilst the other two styles are of course also still valid until they expire.

    This means there will be 3 very different styled UK passports in circulation until 2015/6

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    Latest Chatham House Ukrainian Report

    August 26, 2010

    Here’s another interesting read, this time from Chatham House about Ukraine.

    Some of it hits the nail on the head, some of it is a little off the mark and some of it is……way off……..

    http://www.chathamhouse.org.uk/files/17149_bp0810_sherr.pdf

    Interesting read as I said however, with the author blaming Yanukovych, Tymoshenko, Yushenko, the USA, the EU, Russia and everyone else he can think of……one wonders why such an observant and forward thinking mind is not running the UK for example?

    The reason one has to suspect, is like I say, he is right on some issues and wrong (or extremely under informed) on others.

    Anyway, enjoy it and of course draw your own conclusions…….which at the end of the day is all the author is doing.

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    American policy towards Ukraine

    August 25, 2010

    Well dear readers, normally I remain quite diplomatic and rarely comment upon the foreign policies pursued by nations other than mine…..those being equally Ukraine and the UK.

    However, I came across this little gem from The Center For American Progress.  Have a read of the link……

    http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/08/reimagining_ukraine.html

    What a truly narrow minded, secular, insulated and micro-analysis this article is.

    Nowhere in the entire article does it mention the EU and Europe, the continent in which Ukraine sits and the only organisation successive Ukrainian governments of different political colour and persuasion have jointly expressed a desire to move towards and eventually join.

    In fact it is the only organisation successive governments have actually worked towards joining and continue to do so.

    The USA has to face some very simple facts. 

    The top four trading partners with Ukraine are the EU, Russia, China and Turkey making up almost all of its trade.

    Culturally, western Ukraine has close ties with many EU neighbouring states.   Eastern and southern Ukraine have close cultural ties with Russia and EurAsia.

    Politically, there is a collective will of the major parties (in power and opposition) to get closer to (and maybe join) the EU.  Work towards the European Eastern Partnership, Free Trade Agreement and Visa free travel continues at pace.  Ukraine will recieve and official visa-free travel roadmap from the EU in October and if history is any guideline with other FSU nations, will achieve it within 3 years as they did.

    The Free Trade Agreement will be signed sealed and delivered by March 2011 at the latest.

    Historically there is no connection with the USA, economically the USA is a bit part player at best in Ukraine, politically it has no real relevance either, with Europe the desired goal (and not NATO) whilst maintaining cordial and effective business relations with all other large trading partners such as China, Russia and Turkey.

    Why is it this article reads like the “same old, same old” rhetoric that Moscow and Washington hold the keys to Ukraine?

    It maybe that Washington is (for once) more in tune with reality here than the authors of this article.  For 6 months (last year into this), the US didn’t even have an Ambassador to Ukraine and the man they have now sent is exceptionally low key compared to the last, coming here from Georgia.

    Ukraine is commodity rich when it comes to raw materials, be it coal, ore, uranium and untapped oil and gas (both on and off-shore), cement etc, but it already has trading partners with money and technical expertise able to not only invest in, but also buy what is extracted, processed and produced.

    The Ukrainian President is back in Berlin at the end of the month lobbying Germany for closer ties once again.

    Geographically, politically, economically and culturally, the USA has nothing much to offer Ukraine that it cannot get or does not already have from exisiting long established partners.  Nobody’s tanks are going to be rolling down Ukrainian streets unless invited to take part in a parade or ceremony from East or West.

    Is it not time for the authors of the article to accept that the US does not have much of a presence in Ukraine because there is nothing to be gained by either side by them having one and that any Ukrainian/US deals will be few and far between, strictly in the best interests of Ukraine….which will probably not make them in the best interests of the USA.

    The best policy for the USA in Ukraine right now is the one they are following, bilateral deals as and when to suit both sides, particularly considering the recent mess Westinghouse has made here (as I have posted previously) and leave Ukraine to strike it’s deals with Germany, Italy, Russia, France et al with whom it actively wants to improve relations with, rather than an overly forced friendship neither administration seems keen on.

    Surely it is in the US interests to pursue active foreign policy in nations wanting US attention or acting in such a manner that it draws US attention than to employ time, effort and money in a relationship which is not strained, not damaging to anyone (US enemy and ally alike) and in no way a State likely to fail causing regional strife?

    Is it not time to face the reality that Ukraine is not a foe but it is not going to be a major partner of the US either?  Is it not time to accept the fact that the only common political objective shared by all political forces in Ukraine is European and not Trans-Atlantic facing? 

     The complete lack of mentioning Europe (and Ukraine’s consistant desire to move towards it) in the article seems to suggest that there are still many “academics/commentators” in the US who see Ukraine as a Kremlin/Washington plaything and remain completely oblivious to the direction Ukraine wants to go.

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