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Ukraine offers missile defence cooperation to the West

Latest update : 2008-08-16

Ukraine could let European nations use its early defence warning system against missiles, the Ukrainian foreign ministry said Saturday. The offer comes amid tensions between the West and Russia over the fate of Ukraine's Georgian neighbour.

Ukraine is prepared to open its missile defence network to cooperation with European and other foreign powers, the ex-Soviet republic's foreign ministry said Saturday.
   
The ministry said that the demise of a bilateral Russian-Ukrainian defence agreement earlier this year "allows Ukraine to establish active cooperation with European countries."
   
The offer came amid tensions between Kiev and Moscow over Russia's invasion of parts of neighbouring Georgia, a close ally of Ukraine that also borders Russia.
   
The offer also followed Poland's finalising of an agreement to host elements of a US missile defence shield which Moscow describes as a threat to its national security.
   
Ukraine's foreign ministry said Kiev could invite European partners to integrate their early warning systems against missile attacks.
   
Ukraine is also ready to deal with "foreign countries interested in getting information about the situation in space," the ministry's statement said.
   
Russia's parliament voted to withdraw from a bilateral missile radar accord in January in response to Ukraine's application for membership in the NATO military alliance.

Date created : 2008-08-16

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