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Espionage Scandal and "Cooling" of Relations of Ukraine and NATO?

Espionage Scandal and "Cooling" of Relations of Ukraine and NATO?
Rostislav Demchuk 07.03.2009

The Ukrainian military attache in Bucharest Sergey Ilnitsky is declared in Romania persona non grata for espionage activity. In this connection some international experts consider that Kiev will not manage to escape one more international scandal. Romania - the country member of NATO - sent from the country the Ukrainian military attache Sergey Ilnitsky and only that very fact - charges of Sergey Ilnitsky in espionage could negatively reflect on the relations between NATO and Ukraine.


"In connection with this regrettable fact relations between NATO and Ukraine will be hardly possible to name friendly and partner", - one of the official representatives of North Atlantic Alliance said for Agency AEAS and continued, - in fact scandal already starts to grow - it's a demarche of the president of Romania Traian Basescu who cancelled earlier planned visit to Ukraine".


Visit of the Romanian president was planned on February, 25-26 but in connection with charge in espionage and arrest of the officer of the Romanian Ministry of Defence Florichel Akim and citizen of Bulgaria Peter Zikulov and their participation in transfer of confidential strategic information of NATO to the Ukrainian party the visit was cancelled. Within several years they had been selling secret documents of the Romanian defensive department to the third countries.


In particular, secret information was being transferred to the Ukrainian embassy. For each espionage transaction - sale of military secrets Florichel Akim received on the average 1000 dollars.


The citizen of Bulgaria Peter Zikulov asserts that he had close contacts with embassy of Ukraine in Bucharest which was interested in the confidential military information of the Ministry of National Defense of Romania. According to laws of Romania arrested persons will be in custody during 29 days. For this time they have the right to employ lawyers and try to prove their innocence. In opinion of the experts, it will be difficult to do as the Romanian special service - national service of information of Romania - is connected to investigation. Intelligence of Romania declared that the officer was under observation since 2005. Inquest believes that the Romanian gave documents to the Bulgarian who forwarded information to "the state which is not included into NATO", Romanian edition HotNews.ro informs. The final verdict will be rendered by the State Office of Public Prosecutor.


Besides it is necessary to remind that relations between Ukraine and Romania spoiled in connection with the decision of the International court of the United Nations in relation to the status of Isle of Zmeiny in Black Sea. Loss of Zmeiny partly affected Vladimir Ogryzko's destiny who was on the eve dismissed by the Supreme Rada from a post of the chapter of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country. Announcement of the Ukrainian military attache persona non grata by official Bucharest only pours oil on flames appeared in connection with resignation of Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine V.Ogryzko.


Renvoi of the military attache of Ukraine Sergey Ilnitsky from Romania became the second from the beginning of year espionage scandal which burst in the world. At the end of February in Estonia on charge in espionage high-ranking employee of the Ministry of Defence of Estonia Herman Simm who worked in the department since 1995 was condemned for 12.5 years.


From editorial board: It's rather regrettable that representatives of large state structures to whom the author belongs do not realize that the Ukrainian policy represents and how relations with NATO look like inside Ukraine.


There's no state policy as such in Ukraine today - each of influential political groups carries out "the Ukrainian policy" and these politicians cardinally differs from each other. Integration of Ukraine into NATO represents one of the corner stones of the policy of the working president of Ukraine and his political group, it does not depend on the fact how many Ukrainian military attaches were banished for espionage, moreover, it doesn't depend much on the attitude of NATO to Ukraine.


Policy of the countries of NATO in relation to Ukraine is not consolidated also as this policy is not consolidated at all in relation to the countries of NATO among themselves - it's enough to analyse relations of such old members of alliance as Greece and Turkey. All the more so position of such recent member as Romania is not determining in NATO.


Eventually, there is policy of the USA and policy of Germany and France in NATO. These are two different policies.


Relations of Romania and Ukraine are intense by virtue of that Bucharest already formally shows historical claims for part of the territory of former USSR including part of Odessa area of Ukraine. Romania, apparently, continues confidential works on creation of own nuclear weapon or, at least, approach of its technological reserve in the given problem to condition when it could create own nuclear weapon in the shortest terms. However hardly such policy of Romania can be called policy of NATO.


Moreover, membership of Romania in NATO at absence of Ukraine among members of the Alliance makes claims of Bucharest to Ukraine much more powerful in comparison with situation when both countries would be members of one military-political block - it is an argument of supporters of integration of Ukraine with NATO.


It is quite probable that having found out itself in out-of-block space, economically weakened, with extremely weak defensive potential today's Ukraine can be considered by a number of neighbouring countries as "lawful" historical extraction, it's good that part of these countries being now members of NATO (Romania, Hungary, Slovakia) has already defined these claims during World War II. Besides Poland, Turkey and Russia have historical claims to Ukraine.


However presence of such complex situation in no way makes Kiev, say, sharply move closer to Moscow - firstly, as it is said above, Russia also has designs on the Ukrainian territories and secondly this reapproachement will mean victory of one political force over another inside Ukraine and sharp confrontation with the West - both in foreign policy and in internal one. In case of objective easing of Russia or change of its priorities (as it happened not once) Ukraine appears in private with its foreign policy problems. To solve them independently in view of absence of state policy as such Ukraine is not capable.


It's not clear because of it what analytics close to "rulling security officials" should be pleased with in the given concrete case? Situation similar to the renvoi of attache from Romania push Ukraine to a certain definiteness as it shows threat. In the search of definiteness the Russian vector is not at all a priority for the majority of political forces of Ukraine. All foreign policy failures of Putin's policy are based on misunderstanding of these things and in this case the continuity of such policy is a bad continuity.


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