ZAPORIZHIA, UKRAINE — Deep into a conflict that has sundered decades-old ties between Ukraine and Russia, Ukraine is still selling military gear over the border to its neighbor, Ukrainian defense industry officials say.
Ukraine’s new leaders have vowed to stop the flow of these defense products, which include key parts for ship engines, advanced targeting technology for tanks and upkeep for Russia’s heaviest nuclear missiles. New laws passed this week bolster their powers to do so. Kiev says helping to arm Russia is tantamount to equipping an enemy during wartime when Moscow is sending support to separatist rebels, a charge the Kremlin has denied.
Those factories have employees and employers, and, as in any country, might have different interests regarding neighbors compared to the west of the country.
Raytheon, MSPO 2013
June 30/14: Finalists. Poland’s MON announces the Wisla program’s finalists: Raytheon’s ‘PATRIOT with options’ offer, and EuroSAM’s SAMP/T Mamba system that uses the Aster-30.
Poland won’t become part of the MEADS program, nor will it buy Israel’s David’s Sling. The 2-stage technical dialogue led Poland to conclude that they required an operational system that is deployed by NATO countries.
NATO expansion insures that certain military suppliers will not only gain contracts, but that those contracts are more likely to go to certain countries given the nature of the political situation.
Poland’s agriculture minister went on television to announce the country was taking action against Russia’s new import ban. “We believe Russia has broken international law in both its embargo against Poland and its embargo against the EU,” Marek Sawicki said.
Greece also hard-hit
Although about 70 percent of the Russian population approve of its sanctions, Pickett said the odds are good that the complex WTO mechanism will uphold Poland’s complaint.
“In my view, war-like conditions must either prevail or be imminent. Russia argues that this is a matter of food safety. I doubt that will be legally sufficient.”
Lithuania, Germany and Greece also benefit from trade with Russia: Last year, Germany exported agricultural products worth almost 600 million euros, while Lithuania sold more than 900 million euros of food to Russia. Greek farmers export large quantities of peaches and fish, especially during the summer months.
According to the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” daily, if the WTO mechanisms do not work, or do not take effect quickly enough, this could mean a loss of 178 million euros for Greek vegetable and fruit farmers. Athens has therefore already begun to hold bilateral negotiations with Moscow.
Russia is a threat, but apparently a threat with coffers to be filled by the very states asking for protection. Perhaps the world is more complicated than white hats versus black hats and requires a more careful understanding.
PS: I have tried to change the formatting. I think the problem is copy and paste but when I go back and try and change it, it still doesn’t work. The main problem is lack of time, really. Sorry, Jonathan. I know you like to run a clean and tidy ship :)
[Jonathan adds: No worries :)) ]