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Vladimir Mikhailov, Russias Air Force Commander General (right) at the press conference of chief commanders and commanders of CIS Air and Air Defense Forces entitled Standing and Outlook for Developing CIS United Air Defense Forces, which was held in the CIS military collaboration staff.
Photo: Vasily Shaposhnikov
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Feb. 11, 2005
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Ukraine Sends a Warning to Russia
// Kiev increases Moscow's defense fees
People's Friendship
A meeting of the CIS coordination committee for air defense was held yesterday in Moscow. Participants discussed the problems of cooperation in defending their air boundaries. It appeared that not all the allies were able to reach a mutual understanding. As Colonel General Anatoly Toropchin, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine's air force, told Kommersant, Kiev demanded that Moscow increase payments for information obtained by radar stations of the missile attack warning system in Mukachev and Sevastopol for the Russian missile attack warning system.
The status and development prospects of the unified air defense system set up ten years ago by ten CIS countries were examined at a meeting of the CIS coordination committee for air defense. As it turned out, only Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan will continue to use their combined forces to fortify this system. According to Lieutenant General Aitech Bizhev, the deputy commander-in-chief of Russia's air force, nearly 2 billion rubles are earmarked for 2005 for its development. Ukraine and Uzbekistan are cooperating with Moscow solely on a bilateral basis, while for the last seven years Georgia and Turkmenistan have shunned any cooperation in the area of air defense.

On the other hand, Army General Vladimir Mikhailov, the commander-in-chief of Russia's air force, said yesterday that Moscow and Minsk would establish a regional air defense system, run by a commander appointed by the supreme state council of the federal state of Belarus and Russia. According to Lieutenant General Oleg Paferov, the commander of Belarus's air force and air defense, all forces and air defense units included in this system will be under his command.

Against this background, the statement of Colonel General Anatoly Toropchin, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine's air force, regarding the missile attack warning system sounded a jarring note. As General Toropchin told Kommersant yesterday after the meeting ended, Kiev had demanded that Moscow increase payments for information provided by it from the Dnepr radar stations in Mukachev and Sevastopol for the Russian missile attack warning system.

The Dnepr radar stations in Mukachev and Sevastopol have belonged to Ukraine since 1992 and are maintained by Ukrainian military personnel. On the basis of an agreement between Russia and Ukraine, information from the stations, which monitor outer space over Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, is received at the central command point of the missile attack warning system under the Russian space forces. Kiev receives $1.2 million annually for this.

General Toropchin believes this amount simply does not compensate the expenses of Ukraine's Ministry of Defense, especially for supporting the personnel, who are working exclusively in Russia's interests. In his words, Moscow must assume all expenses for salaries and medical and pension services of the Ukrainian servicemen operating the Dnepr stations. Russia pays $5 million to lease the Daryal radar station in Azerbaijan, while we get only $1.2 million for information from two stations, Toropchin complained to the Kommersant correspondent. That's unfair! The general thinks that the presidents and governments of the two countries must eliminate this unfairness.

Russia's Ministry of Defense refused to comment to Kommersant on General Toropchin's statement.

What Is the CIS Unified Anti-Aircraft Defense System

The CIS Unified Anti-Aircraft Defense System was established by the ten countries of the commonwealth by an agreement signed on April 10, 1995 in Almaty. Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine were the original signatories. Georgia and Turkmenistan effectively withdrew from the system in 1997.

The function of the unified system is to protect and control the airspace of the CIS. For this purpose, there is an automated exchange of information between the air forces and anti-aircraft defenses of the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Information exchange with the remaining participating countries is sporadic, due to their lack of modern control systems. Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation and Uzbekistan maintain combined anti-aircraft combat-readiness.

Coordination of activities and system development strategy are in the hands of a coordinating committee, under the supervision of the council of CIS ministers of defense. The committee is made up of the commanders of anti-aircraft defense units and is headed by the air force and anti-aircraft defenses of the Russian Federation Gen. Vladimir Mikhailov.

The system consists of 19 fighter jet regiments (of which 11 are Russian and two Belarusian), 29 anti-aircraft missile regiments (11 of which are Russian), 22 radio technology subdivisions (9 of them Russian) and two Russian electronics battalions. Equipment of the forces has been supplied by the Almaz-Antei concern since 2000. In September 2004, the system coordinating committee proposed the establishment of a financial and industrial group at the concern to secure its needs.

Financing for the unified system is budgeted annually subject to confirmation by the council of CIS heads of state. It funds are kept in an account current in the Central Bank of Russia. The chairman of the coordinating committee is authorized to distribute the funds. In 2004, the budget of the system was 88 million rubles. In 2005, 2 billion rubles have been allotted for it. The units and subdivisions of the system are financed by the countries individually.

Command and staff training and exercises are held annually.

Ivan Safronov

All the Article in Russian as of Feb. 11, 2005

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