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Wednesday, July 20, 2011     GET REAL

Report: Ukraine supplying tanks, heavy weapons to Sudan

MOSCOW — Sudan has been identified as a leading defense client of Ukraine.


The Kommersant-Ukraine newspaper reported that Khartoum is a leading client of Ukraine's defense industry. The newspaper said Ukraine has sold T-55 and T-72 main battle tanks to Sudan.

"The portfolio of contracts signed by state-run arms exporter Ukrspetsexport increased in value from $799.5 in 2009 to $956.7 billion [in 2010]," the Ukraine State Service for Export Control said.

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Quoting Ukrspetsexport, Kommersant-Ukraine said Kiev also exported other heavy weapons to Sudan in 2010. The newspaper cited Grad multiple rocket launchers, 122mm Gvozdika self-propelled howitzers, 152mm Akatsia self-propelled howitzers, D-30 howitzers and 82mm mortars.

Khartoum has also bought 10,000 AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifles, the newspaper said on July 18. Sudan's neighbor, Libya, was also said to have ordered air-to-air missiles from Ukraine.

Ukrspetsexport was believed to have served as a front for Russia's defense industry. Analysts said Kiev's export figures appeared suspect.

"As far as I know, we only signed an option for a previous contract with Sudan last year and the rest is ongoing deliveries under contracts signed by the previous team," former Ukrspetsexport director Sergei Bondarchuk told Kommersant.

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