US Ambassador to Ukraine William B. Taylor refuted Jane Defence Weekly’s allegation that Ukraine sold several Kolchuga early warning radar systems to Iran. The journal does not specify the number of these truly unique systems or delivery deadlines, stating instead that a single Kolchuga station costs $25 million. Interfax quotes the US ambassador as saying, “I don’t think that this has really happened, based on my conversations with Ukrainian officials.” Taylor stated that he had several conversations with Ukrainian officials, who assured him that no such sales have ever taken place.
Ukraine has figured in a number of armaments sale scandals. In 2002 Kyiv was suspected of selling Kolchuga stations to Iraq, but the fact was never established.
Hryhorii PEREPELYTSIA, Director, Institute of Foreign Policy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine:
I think that we can rule out the possibility that Ukraine sold Kolchugas to Iran. Certain conclusions were reached after the so-called Kolchuga scandal involving Iraq. Also, it should be noted that with international assistance Ukraine has implemented a tough export-monitoring system. Today there is rigid control by these structures. I don’t think that it would be easy to sidestep them.
Nor do I have any doubts that this was a commissioned publication. There are certain structures and channels specializing in such things, as well as journalists who work for these structures. This practice was developed in Soviet times and is called information warfare. At the very least, it can be described as information influence. By the way, certain influential journals and newspapers are known to have ordered and paid for certain published material aimed at showing just how much Europe would suffer after admitting Ukraine into NATO.
It is clear to everyone that such publications are ordered by those whose goal is to discredit Ukraine in the international arena. Experts working in this sphere know precisely what is expected of them. These kinds of articles are meant to influence international public opinion and are also used to eliminate a rival. In general, there is a whole range of objectives aimed at killing two birds with one stone; hence the Melnychenko tape scandal and the Kolchuga scandal involving Iraq.