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Ukraine Seeks Missile Alliance With Israel

President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko speaks during his statement in Kiev, 05 October, 2006. Photo courtesy of Myshko Markiv and AFP.
by Staff Writers
Kiev (UPI) Oct 11, 2006
Pro-Western Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko wants to forge what could be a dramatic and strategically far-reaching missile defense alliance with Israel. Israel Today reported Oct. 4 that Yushchenko "met with Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres and offered strategic cooperation in the area of ballistic missile defense systems and satellite control systems."

Until the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine's military industries were a central component in supplying the Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces. Yushchenko has previously revealed that under his predecessor, President Leonid Kuchma, Ukrainian corporations secretly sold a dozen nuclear-capable cruise missiles to Iran.

Ukraine and Israel have the potential to offer each other a lot in joint ballistic missile and ballistic missile defense cooperation. Ukraine has an enormous and widely dispersed industrial base that Israel lacks, especially in the Donbas, on Don Basin. Israel is exceptionally advanced in its electronic high-tech sector, an area where Ukraine lags. The Ukrainians also lack Israel's massive web of connections and credibility with defense ministries and corporations around the world from the United States and Taiwan to India.

"We will be very glad to cooperate with Israeli scientists and developers in the area of missiles and satellites. Development of advanced technological weaponry could be the basis for further strategic cooperation between the two countries," Yushchenko told Peres according to the Israel Today report.

Peres is a lifelong high tech enthusiast and he was the director of Israel's fledgling nuclear program at Dimona back in the mid-1950s. According to the report, he also suggested during his talks with Yushchenko that Ukraine and Israel could work together to create a new generation of anti-terror weapons and security devices based on nano-technology, another area where Israel is a world leader.

Source: United Press International

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