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Yesterday, Moscow hosted a session of the CIS coordinating committee for air-defense issues
Yesterday, Moscow hosted a session of the CIS coordinating committee for air-defense issues, where Ukraine demanded that Russia pay more for information received by its early-warning stations, writes Kommersant. The joint CIS air-defense system's current state and development prospects were examined at the session. This air-defense system was established ten years ago by nine CIS countries. However, it became clear that only Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan were continuing to improve the system. Ukraine and Uzbekistan cooperate with Moscow on a bilateral basis alone, while Georgia and Turkmenistan have not been involved in interaction over the last seven years. General of the Army Vladimir Mikhailov, who commands the Russian Air Force, said yesterday that Moscow and Minsk would establish a joint regional air-defense system in 2005. He said that the Supreme Council of the Belarus-Russia Union State would appoint a general in charge of this bilateral air-defense system and its forces and resources would be subordinated to him. This contrasted with statements from Colonel-General Anatoly Toropchin, commander of Ukraine's Air Force. Kiev demanded that Moscow pay more for information received by the Russian early-warning network from Dnieper radars in Mukachev and Sevastopol. Kiev now gets $1.2 million for this information each year. General Toropchin believes that this sum total does not cover the Ukrainian Defense Ministry's expenses. First of all, this concerns the spending on personnel that cater to Russian needs. "Russia annually pays $5 million for the Daryal radar in Azerbaijan, bur Ukraine receives only $1.2 million for its two radars," the general complained. Consequently, the presidents and governments of the two countries must rectify the situation.
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