adidas handball Kuchma’s Iraqi Arms Deal Approval Draws Fire from Helsinki Commission Leaders CSCE
Domestic Violence in the OSCE Region (September 7, 2001)Domestic Violence in the OSCE Region (August 28, 2001)We are deeply troubled by recently published information making it clear that Ukrainian President Leonid D. Kuchma gave his personal approval for the sale of sophisticated military equipment to Iraq. military personnel who are currently policing the “no fly” zones and may be called upon to conduct additional operations against Iraq.
It is difficult to see Mr. Kuchma’s approval of this sale as anything other than a hostile and reckless act presumably undertaken for personal financial gain. political support and financial assistance is outrageous and demands a clear and firm response from the Administration.
In her testimony to the Commission on October 10, Assistant Secretary Elizabeth Jones informed us that, in Kyiv, she recently conveyed to President Kuchma the Administration’s great unhappiness with his behavior. Apparently he did not dispute the authenticity of the evidence, as he has done previously, but insisted that the equipment in question had never been delivered. Ms. and British experts would soon visit Ukraine in an attempt to ascertain whether Mr. Kuchma’s assertions are true.
While we support sending this team of investigators, particularly given the threat to our military personnel,
we feel that stronger action is warranted to demonstrate to Mr. Kuchma, as well as to other foreign officials, that such reckless and criminal behavior will have the most serious consequences. As an initial step, we urge that the Department of State establish an inter agency group to develop concrete measures focused on the Ukrainian leader, members of the presidential administration, and other state officials. Among other things, such a group should closely examine any financial benefit Mr. Kuchma or his associates might have derived from this sale, money laundering schemes, as well as any other possible illegal activities. We further urge that the United States initiate contacts with foreign governments in an attempt to identify the money trail from sales to Iraq or possible sales to other rogue regimes. In addition,
we believe official contacts with Mr. Kuchma should be kept to an absolute minimum and be conducted at the lowest possible levels.
(Washington) Leaders of the United States Helsinki Commission have urged Secretary of State Colin Powell to keep a close eye on President Leonid Kuchma’s financial dealings after recent revelations that the Ukrainian personally approved an arms deal with Iraq.