Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 204

The defense ministers of Ukraine and Turkmenistan, Aleksandr Kuzmuk and Danatar Kopekov, signed yesterday in Ashgabat two agreements on cooperation between their ministries. The agreements envisage, inter alia, Ukrainian assistance in the technical maintenance and overhauling of Turkmenistan’s armored and other military equipment, training of Turkmen cadets in Ukrainian military schools, and instruction of Turkmen air force and air defense officers by the corresponding Ukrainian military services, both in Ukraine and in Turkmenistan. Kuzmuk also conferred with Turkmen president Saparmurad Niazov. (Interfax-Ukraine, October 30) The Ukrainian minister went to Turkmenistan rather than attending the CIS Defense Ministers’ Council meeting in Dushanbe. There, Deputy Minister Ivan Bizhan represented Kuzmuk in successfully resisting several major Russian proposals. Turkmenistan declined to attend the Dushanbe meeting. (See Monitor, October 30)

Kiev has also concluded military assistance agreements with Georgia and Uzbekistan in recent months. Such agreements are motivated not only by commercial considerations but also by Ukraine’s political goal — shared by some other CIS member countries — of reducing Russia’s role as a source of military and technical assistance. Ukraine is well equipped to service the CIS countries’ Soviet-era arsenals.

Karabakh Talks at Impasse in Runup to OSCE Summit.