On July 21 a U.S. and a Ukrainian paratrooper unit began an exercise at a mountain site near Uzhorod, in Ukraine’s Carpathian region. They are jointly conducting parachute jumps, firing practice, and tactical classes. The main phase of the exercise, to end on August 1, involves practicing a special operation by three joint U.S.-Ukrainian reconnaissance groups in a wooded mountainous environment. Meanwhile a unit of Ukrainian National Guard cadets is practicing an anti-terrorist operation jointly with a U.S. special-forces unit at a California base.
The chief of the General Staff of Turkey’s armed forces, Gen. Ismail Karadayi, yesterday completed a three-day visit to Ukraine, where he conferred with the top leaders of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and the National Security Council. Discussions focused on exchanges of military delegations, mutual naval visits in the Black Sea, future joint military exercises, and joint anti-terrorism actions. (UNIAN, DINAU, July 22-24)
With these activities under way, President Leonid Kuchma told a Western interviewer that Ukraine does not plan to apply for NATO membership in the foreseeable future because "today it is impossible to declare things that can not be implemented." However, Ukraine’s neutral status differs from that of Switzerland, Kuchma said, citing the NATO-Ukraine partnership. "Perhaps Switzerland does not have any worries, but we must closely watch developments in Russia." (Die Presse, July 21)
Turkmen Gas Export Pipeline Deal Signed, May Set Regional Trend.