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Source: Tom Warner and Stephen Fidler, "Iraq 'seeks weapons technology from Ukraine' ", Financial Times, 8 July 2002 [begin] Iraq is exploiting its growing links with Ukraine in an effort to obtain weapons technologies, arms control experts say. They say the government of the former Soviet republic has been taking an active role in organising direct ties between Ukrainian companies and Iraq. Amid concerns about Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction, new evidence of links between the two countries has brought calls for a heightened international scrutiny of their relationship. "For some years there was an intensive defence-technology relationship between Ukraine and Iraq. This appears to be re-emerging and we don't want to repeat the mistakes of the past," said Timothy McCarthy, a former United Nations weapons inspector. The US looks likely to launch an offensive against Iraq. President George W. Bush is said to be concerned about Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programmes, and news of Ukraine's relations with Iraq is likely to anger the US. The US said on Monday the failure of talks between Iraq and the UN last week showed Washington was right to suspect Iraq. Richard Boucher, State Department spokesman, said Iraq had not indicated "that it intends to allow inspectors to come in with unfettered access to verify that they're not doing what we suspect they're doing . . . that is, developing weapons of mass destruction". In recordings - heard by the Financial Times - of what appears to be a conversation between Ukraine's president, Leonid Kuchma, and Yuri Alexeyev, director of Yuzhmash, Ukraine's largest rocket maker, the men mention Iraq, Iran and rockets. The recordings were supplied by Mykola Melnychenko, one of Mr Kuchma's former bodyguards. Mr Kuchma and Mr Alexeyev denied having supplied missile technology to Iraq. In a three-part investigation, which begins on Tuesday, the FT reveals a dangerous lack of control over weapons of mass destruction and their availability to countries such as Iraq - and even terrorists. An Iraqi delegation led by Hikmat el-Azzawi, deputy prime minister, visited Ukraine last month. Local media reports citing Ukrainian government sources said Iraq offered to buy aircraft, ships and steel pipes. New bilateral agreements were also reportedly signed. Ukraine opened an embassy in Baghdad in 20 00 and its ministry of foreign affairs accepted the credentials of Yuri Orshansky, a Ukrainian businessman, as an honorary consul for Iraq. Mr Orshansky told Ukrainian media he has visited Iraq 40 times since 1992, but denies breaking international sanctions. In 2001, Mr Orshansky organised a trade fair in Baghdad. "Even if they want to create a nuclear bomb, we will study this," he was quoted as saying. "After all, in 50 years, maybe we will offer our services." He could not be reached for comment. [end] Nathaniel Hurd 90 7th Ave. Apt. #6 Brooklyn, NY 11217 Tel. (M): 917-407-3389 Tel. (H): 718-857-7639 _________________________________________________________________ MSN Photos is the easiest way to share and print your photos: http://photos.msn.com/support/worldwide.aspx _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk