On July 16, Abu Hafs al Masri Brigades Al-Qaeda linked group made ultimatum to European countries holding their troops in Iraq. In particular, Brigades states that the terrorist acts will be repeated if European countries do not withdraw their troops in a month. In the first place, it touches upon Denmark, Netherlands, the Great Britain, Italy and others.

"Our strikes in the depths of the capital of the British infidels are only a message to other European governments that we will not relent and sit idle before the infidel soldiers will leave the land of the two rivers. We will strike in the hearts of European capitals, in Rome, in Amsterdam and in Denmark where their soldiers are still in Iraq pursuing their British and American masters," the statement says.

Yesterday, the Public Committee of National Security of Ukraine wrote a statement. The statement consists of the words of greetings to the presidential intention to withdraw Ukrainian peacekeeping troops out of Iraq.

The statement also asks President and the Cabinet to speed up the withdrawal cause of the threat of terrorist acts in Europe and the necessity of security of Ukrainian citizens.

It claims to finish the withdrawal by September 1, 2005.

Vadim Karasyov, political scientist, the director of the Institute of Global Strategy

Firstly, the statement (Al-Qaeda) touches upon the main European countries which make the kernel of "anti Saddam" coalition under the direction of the USA. Specifically, it touches upon the Great Britain and Italy. These countries ordered implicitly to the USA in operation in Iraq. That is why the Ultimatum is directed mainly to them. This question should be solved by Silvia Berlusconi and Tony Blair till August 15, 2005. Even more so Italy has resolved to withdraw its troops out of Iraq. So, the terrorists are interested in old European countries.

If the problem is "solved" one way or another, Al-Qaeda will focus on new Europeans, who sincerely backed the USA in its attempts for liquidation of Saddam’s regimes. In that case, it will touch upon those countries which have the largest troops in Iraq - Poland and, possibly, Ukraine.

Now concerning Ukraine, the question is not so acute because there are some factors which give it possibilities to escape the terrorist attention. First of all, Ukraine has passed the resolution on the withdrawal. Secondly, Ukrainian troops were sent to Iraq according to UNO procedure. And thirdly, Ukrainian troops did not take active part in military operations. Fourthly, Ukraine gradually withdraws its troops out of Iraq. But considering the complexity of this question, it is impossible to manage with withdrawal by August 15, 2005.

Despite all difficulties of situation concerning the withdrawal, Ukraine should be in a hurry. If terrorists decide to direct their attention on East Europe, it will be very dangerous for Ukraine as well. We should not forget the weak points of Ukraine - Crimea and some others. That is why Ukraine must avoid actions which may draw the attention of the terrorists. Not Islamite only.

Sergey Matvienkov, the deputy of Ukraine, "Party of Regions"

Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has already passed the corresponding solution of this problem. We voted for the withdrawal of our troops. We stated that it should be done as quickly as possible. But we should not forget about soldiers who will stay there and wait for their turn to leave Iraq. We must not expose them. It is just a question of military ethic.

"I reckon that the troops must be withdrawn as quickly as possible. The world community must work out the methods of fight with terrorism and stop fight with certain states," said he.


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