Russia would welcome Ukraine into CSTO post-Soviet security bloc.
Russia would welcome Ukraine taking a role in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), but any decision to participate must be made by Kiev alone, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday.
The Russia-dominated post-Soviet security grouping includes Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has moved Kiev dramatically closer to Moscow since taking office in February, but has also said the country would never join a military alliance, calling Ukraine a "nonaligned state" in his inauguration address.
"What President Yanukovych has said regarding Ukraine's nonaligned character, the current situation absolutely satisfies me as the president of Russia, because it fully ensures our interests, and it seems to me fully meets the aspirations of a large part of the Ukrainian people," Medvedev said.
"However, life changes," he continued. "If in the future you consider it right to join the CSTO, we will of course be happy to invite and welcome you. But this is a sovereign decision for a state, and it should be thoughtful and serious."
Ukraine's previous president, Viktor Yushchenko, pursued strongly pro-Western policies, often at the expense of ties with Moscow, but Yanukovych, whose powerbase is in the largely Russian-speaking east of Ukraine, promised during the election to improve relations with Russia.
Post by TsarSamuil on May 24, 2010 19:07:02 GMT -5
Share of modern weaponry in Russian military must be 30% by 2015 - Medvedev.
The share of modern weaponry in the Russian Armed Forces must be brought up to at least 30% by 2015, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday.
"By 2015 the share of advanced weaponry in permanent readiness units must reach at least 30%," Medvedev said at a meeting on the budget for Russian military and security agencies.
"We must make investments in the modernization of the Armed Forces a priority," he added.
The president said that if forecasts that Russia's gross domestic product (GDP) will grow 3-6% annually from 2011 hold true, the government could allocate a set percentage of GDP every year to finance the development of the military.
Medvedev said the imbalance between spending on maintenance of old equipment and spending on new purchases (currently about 50/50) must be addressed.
"In the future, the ratio must be 30% to 70%, respectively," he said.
In line with ongoing military reforms, the Russian Armed Forces will be downsized to 1 million personnel by 2016, enlisting 150,000 officers and about 745,000 soldiers.
The organizational structure of the military will be streamlined to meet the standards of modern warfare, based on mobility and the use of advanced weaponry.
Over 960 people working at the Ministry of Defense, the military universities and the general staff of the Bulgarian army will be laid off over the next two months. The massive lay-off of top army officers and civilian clerks will cost about 14 million levs.
A wave of lay-offs in the army started after the general staff passed under the jurisdiction of the defense ministry. As a result, the number of civilian clerks in the army was cut down by 32 per cent and many departments and directorates merged into larger structures.
During its regular sitting today the Cabinet is expected to decide to close down Bulgaria’s military mission in NATO.
Poland has taken over control of the American Vulcan military in Ghazni province, Afghanistan.
So far Polish soldiers have performed military tasks from the main bases in the Warrior base and two combat bases - Four Corners and Giro - in the Ghazni province. Until now only several dozen Polish soldiers were deployed alongside American troops at the Vulcan base. Poles from the Operational Mentor and Liaison Team (OMLT) were responsible for training of the Afghan army.
When the U.S. troops leave the Vulcan base to carry out military tasks in another district, the number of Polish soldiers there will increase.
Since the end of April, soldiers from the seventh contingent led by Gen. Andrzej Przekwas have been on duty in Afghanistan. Soon 600 more soldiers will be sent to the country, following a call from the US and NATO. After the reinforcement, there would be 2,600 Polish soldiers in Ghazni province and 400 in reserve in Poland.
The main tasks of the Polish soldiers in Afghanistan are training Afghan army and police, protecting local people, supporting local administration and providing humanitarian aid. (mg/pg)
Ukraine Adopts Law to Steer Clear of Joining NATO.
Novinite.com World | June 3, 2010, Thursday
Ukrainian Parliament has turned the country into a nonaligned state by adopting a law ruling out future NATO membership.
The newly adopted law on foreign and domestic policies does not contain an article stating that Ukraine seeks to become a NATO member. It mentions among the country’s foreign policy priorities full-fledged participation in regional and European collective security systems, and accession to the EU while keeping its good neighborly and strategic relations with Russia and the other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the loose international framework that succeeded the Soviet Union.
The law was passed by a sufficiently comfortable margin – 253 MPs voted in its favor with 226 necessary to pass it.
"The main task of foreign policy and security is the protection of national interests in the world, and the nonalignment policy is one of the mechanisms. It meets requirements of the time, and we will strictly adhere to it," Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich said during an address to the nation on Thursday as cited by BTA.
The adoption of the nonalignment law is seen as an important success for Yanukovich, who, after winning the presidential elections in February 2010, has increasingly abandoned the anti-Russian course of his predecessor, Viktor Yushchenko, a proponent of Ukraine’s NATO integration.
Among the domestic policy priorities, the law adopted Thursday lists the guarantees for the constitutional rights and freedoms of the Ukrainian citizens, the development of civil society and its democratic institutions, development of state sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Ukraine, as well as the development of a competitive market economy.
Post by TsarSamuil on Jun 10, 2010 11:27:55 GMT -5
Russian military to increase contracted personnel to 250,000.
The number of contracted military personnel in the Russian Armed Forces will increase from 150,000 to about 250,000 in the future, the defense minister said on Wednesday.
"There are 150,000 contracted personnel in the Russian military at present. Their number will increase to 200-250 thousand in the future," Anatoly Serdyukov told journalists after a closed-door meeting with Russian lawmakers.
In line with the ongoing military reform, the Russian Armed Forces will be downsized to 1 million personnel by 2016, enlisting 150,000 officers and about 745,000 soldiers.
Despite the growing number of draft dodgers and the poor health of many draftees, the Russian military said it would continue to rely heavily on conscription to man its Armed Forces in the near future rather than make a transition to fully professional army.
Contracted soldiers will fill the positions which require highly-developed professional skills and determine the combat capabilities of military units.
Military units serving in Chechnya and other 'hot spots' will be formed only from contracted soldiers.
Post by TsarSamuil on Jun 11, 2010 13:26:11 GMT -5
Bulgaria Boosts Its Troops in Afghanistan, Stays in Kosovo.
Novinite.com Defense | June 11, 2010, Friday
Bulgaria is going to expand its mission in Afghanistan with additional troops and military instructors, Defense Minister Anyu Angelov has announced.
The Bulgarian military contingent with ISAF will increase to over 600 troops by the end of the eyar from the present number of 530, said Gen. Angelov after the end of the meeting of the NATO Defense Ministers in Brussels confirming a commitment the Borisov government made in 2009.
He also made it clear that the first joint Bulgarian-US team of military instructors for the Afghan security forces will be ready by the fall of 2010, and that two more such units will be formed subsequently, plus two Bulgarian medical teams, which will operate in the Kandahar province.
The Defense Ministers of the 46 nations which participate in the NATO mission in Afghanistan have in general committed to increasing their troop numbers on the ground before starting to pull them out. The Ministers have agreed that a withdrawal can be achieved only after the Afghan security forces can take on the Taliban insurgents on their own, and that the NATO mission is short of 450 military instructors for the Afghan army at the moment.
Bulgarian Defense Minister Angelov also said that the planned reduction of NATO forces in Kosovo from 10 000 to 5 700 will not affect the number of Bulgarian troops stationed in the former Serbian province.
Post by TsarSamuil on Jun 15, 2010 15:58:51 GMT -5
Bulgarian Military Slashes 30% of Senior Officers.
Novinite.com Defense | June 12, 2010, Saturday
The Bulgarian military will lay off about 30% of the senior commanders of all types of armed forces, Defense Minister Anyu Angelov has announced.
The layoffs in the headquarters of the Bulgarian Army, Navy, and Air Force must be completed by July 1, 2010, the Minister said in Varna Saturday. They have to be approved by the government over the upcoming week as part of the austerity measures of the Defense Ministry.
Gen. Angelov also said his team was working a special draft law for Bulgaria's reservist forces.
On Saturday, the Defense Minister and the US Ambassador to Bulgaria, James Warlick, awarded certificates to participants in a training seminar entitled “NATO's Experience with Respect to Equality in the Armed Forces”, a project aimed at gender equality in the army and equal career opportunities.
Angelov and His Excellency visited a ship of the US Second Fleet visiting the port of Varna.
“We expect to continue to work in close cooperation in combating pirates off the coast of Somalia,” the US Ambassador stated.
Post by TsarSamuil on Jun 15, 2010 17:13:59 GMT -5
France hands over night vision technology to Russia.
Russia's state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said Tuesday it had signed several contracts with the French defense firm Thales on the transfer of technology and delivery of communications equipment for Russian armored vehicles.
"The first contract involves transfer of technologies to Russia, which now will have the right to produce officially licensed thermal imagers at Vologda Optical and Mechanical Plant," said Igor Sevastyanov, Rosoboronexport deputy director general.
"The second contract provisionally allows Russia to bring in communications equipment for integration into Russian armored vehicles for testing," Sevastyanov said. He added that the communications equipment would be mounted on T-90 tanks and BMP-3 armored personnel carriers.
Rosoboronexport did not specify the sum of the contracts.
The plant in the city of Vologda in central European Russia will assemble the Thales-developed thermal imaging cameras. Localized production will allow Russia to reduce production and maintenance costs by at least 5-10% and manufacture thermal imagers for civilian purposes in the future.
Civilian uses of the thermal imagers could include monitoring the efficiency of thermal insulation and detection of heat leaks, among other applications.
Russia may only be able to export thermal imagers produced at its plant with the permission of the French authorities. The list of potential customers will exclude so-called rogue states such as Iran.
According to experts, Russia is lagging 20-30 years behind the West in many areas of technological progress and has recently started attempting to close the gap by purchasing production licenses abroad.
Bulgaria’s Karlovo Sends Off Military Unit to Afghanistan.
Novinite.com Defense | June 24, 2010, Thursday
A send-off ceremony will be held in Karlovo, Central Bulgaria, on Thursday for a company-sized military unit which will join the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan to provide security at Kandahar Airport.
The ceremony will be attended by Defence Minister Anyu Angelov and Chief of Defence Simeon Simeonov.
Just a day earlier Bulgaria’s government decided to send up to 65 new rangers by September 1 to take part in the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) mission in Afghanistan.
45 of those rangers will join the group for training and liaison with the Afghani army, 10 will work as instructors in the Center for Military Training in Kabul and 10 as medics in the field hospitals in Kabul and Kandahar.
The move comes on the heels of a letter sent last week by US President, Barack Obama to Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, expressing gratitude for Bulgaria’s help in the missions in Afghanistan.
Post by TsarSamuil on Jun 25, 2010 15:46:24 GMT -5
Post-Soviet security bloc's working group heads to Kyrgyzstan.
The head of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and its working group will head to Kyrgyzstan on Friday to assess the situation there, the post-Soviet security bloc said.
"The group's key tasks are to assess the military and political situation in Kyrgyzstan and render assistance to the republic's law enforcement agencies as they are addressing the consequences of mass unrest," the CSTO said.
Clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks, who account for about 15% of Kyrgyzstan's population, broke out in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh on June 11, lasting several days and spreading to nearby Jalalabad. The official death toll exceeded 260, but the actual death count could be ten times higher.
The delegation will visit Kyrgyz capital Bishkek and the cities of Osh and Jalalabad and outline a plan of action for CSTO members, which include Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
The situation in Kyrgyzstan remains highly volatile. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) proposed on Wednesday sending international police to prevent the spread of violence in the Central Asian republic.
The Kyrgyz interim government asked Russia to send troops to Kyrgyzstan to help quench the unrest, but Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday Russia is not yet planning to send peacekeepers to the country.
The CSTO said a week ago that its member states see no need yet to send troops to troubled Kyrgyzstan, but will "provide all-round assistance to law enforcement and security agencies in Kyrgyzstan to help tackle the crisis and bring the situation back to normal" and could send advisors to the country.
Post by TsarSamuil on Jun 25, 2010 15:48:30 GMT -5
Ukraine plans to have fully professional army by 2015.
Ukraine must have a fully professional army by 2015, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said on Thursday.
"We are planning to complete by 2015 the full transition of the Ukrainian military forces from a mixed recruiting system to a new model based solely on contracted service," the ministry quoted head of the personnel policy department Maj. Gen. Serhiy Kropyvchenko as saying.
Ukraine has long been making plans for a transition to a fully professional army, but low defense budgets (currently only 1% of GDP) have hampered the process.
At present, over 52% of the military personnel in the country's 200,000-man Armed Forces are professional soldiers.
Under former president Viktor Yushchenko Ukraine sought close relations with NATO. To this end, the country cooperated in a combined peacekeeping operation with its neighbor Poland in Kosovo.
Ukrainian soldiers also serve under NATO command in Iraq, Afghanistan and in Operation Active Endeavour in the Mediterranean.
However, Viktor Yanukovych, who became Ukrainian president in February, has made it clear he intends to drop his predecessor's plans to seek NATO membership and said his country would pursue non-bloc policy in the future.
Russia starts large-scale military drills in Far East.
The Russian Armed Forces started on Tuesday large-scale Vostok-2010 military exercises in Siberia and the country's Far East, a spokesman for the Far Eastern military district said.
"The exercises started on schedule, without delays. They are being held on the territory of the Far Eastern and Siberian military districts from June 29 through July 8," the official said.
At least 20,000 troops, up to 70 warplanes and 30 warships will take part in the drills on 15 training grounds.
Gen. Nikolai Makarov, chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, earlier said this year's strategic exercises will include the firing of live ammunition, simulated airborne assaults and amphibious assault landings.
As part of the drills, the Armed Forces will practice the deployment of additional troops in Siberia and the Far East to reinforce the existing military contingent in the region in case of a military conflict.
Makarov stressed on Monday that the Vostok-2010 drills were not aimed against any one country.
"This exercise...is not directed against any specific country or military-political bloc. It has a purely defensive nature in ensuring the security and national interests of the [Russian] state in the Far East," he said.
Russia holds Vostok strategic command-and-staff exercises every two years. More than 8,000 troops took part in Vostok-2008.
Troops from Poland’s special service unit, GROM, were involved, Sunday, in a dramatic rescue operation to free two local policemen from the grip of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Two Afghan policemen, aged 20 and 22, were abducted by Taliban insurgents and spent several days as their captives. They were blindfolded and chained to a wall, reports the Polish news agency, PAP. Every few days they were transported to another place to make it difficult to locate their whereabouts. On Sunday, Polish special forces unit found them in the Andar district in Ghazni province and rescued them from insurgents.
“The policemen were handed over to Afghan security forces, where they underwent a debriefing and underwent a medical examination,” said lieutenant Sebastian Kostecki from the Polish contingent in Afghanistan’s press office.
GROM is the primary special forces unit deployed in a variety of operations, including anti-terrorist actions. Recently GROM has been carrying out operations in Ghazni province, where around 2,600 Polish troops are stationed. (pg/mg)
Bulgaria to Boost Its Troops in Afghanistan with Combat Unit.
Novinite.com Defense | July 30, 2010, Friday
Bulgaria plans to dispatch a 700-strong combat unit to boost its troops in Afghanistan as of 2013 at the latest, the defense minister has announced.
“About 700 Bulgarian troops will be trained to join the military operations of NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan,” Minister Anyu Anguelov told reporters on Friday.
In his words the soldiers’ training is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2012 at the latest, when they will be able to participate in operations of the international forces following an expected political decision to this effect.
“The training, equipment and armament of the Bulgarian contingent with a view to its new tasks will cost about USD 20 M,” Minister Angulov said.
The minister will propose that the government accredits him to hold talks with partner countries, concerning the Bulgarian contingent.
The news about the planned new tasks and mandate of the Bulgarian troops in Afghanistan comes as partner countries are reconsidering the situation and their strategy there.
On Friday the Netherlands said it will end its troop deployment in Afghanistan, often held up as a model for other peace missions. Meanwhile the United States announced plans for a troop surge in Kandahar to reverse the Taliban insurgency's momentum in the region.
At present, the Bulgarian contingents in Afghanistan, numbering 527 troops, are based in three locations – Kabul, Kandahar and Herat. Taliban rocket attacks on the Kandahar base, the outer perimeter of which is guarded by UK soldiers, are very common with up to 400 reported in 2009.
Bulgaria plans to send up to 70 more troops to the NATO-led force in Afghanistan in early September - 10 of the soldiers will be medical personnel based in Kabul and the southern city of Kandahar, and 10 will be instructors for the Afghan army.
The rest will join a Bulgarian unit guarding the airport in Kandahar.
Bulgaria’s center-right government, elected last July, initially said it would not be able to provide more forces in Afghanistan due to the economic crisis, but later changed its strategy under pressure from the United States and NATO.
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Nov 28, 2019 11:30:45 GMT -5
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Jan 10, 2020 14:27:01 GMT -5
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Mar 15, 2020 10:48:19 GMT -5
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Apr 19, 2020 4:29:09 GMT -5
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May 18, 2020 9:10:02 GMT -5
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Jun 28, 2020 13:54:49 GMT -5
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Aug 30, 2020 13:48:17 GMT -5