Ukraine says it is ready to make its missile warning systems available for Western countries after Russia announced it was pulling out of a long-term missile defense agreement.

President Viktor Yushchenko issued a decree this week putting an end to Ukraine’s participation in the 1992 accord in view of Russia’s own abrogation of the deal in February, that came in response to Ukraine’s application for NATO membership.

The statement says the country could invite European partners to integrate their early-warning systems. It says Kyiv is also ready to deal with "foreign countries interested in getting information about the situation in space."

The announcement is seen as further evidence of Ukraine’s efforts to move closer to the West on security issues.

Analytic researches link the step with the Russian-Georgian conflict. According to expert Mikhailo Samus, Ukrainian missile warning systems might become the part of the system US is planning to locate in Czech Republic and Poland.

Samus considers that NATO will pay Ukraine adequate money for using the stations, while Russia’s payment covers only 19% of expenses. Ukraine will have a chance to modernize its missile warning systems and improve the defense system of the country, according to the expert.

Ukraine’s leadership has been increasingly at odds with Russia on a wide range of foreign-policy issues, including Russia’s conflict with Georgia, a close ally of Ukraine, over South Ossetia.

On August 13, the Ukrainian president’s office issued a decree ordering Russia to request permission to move its warships based in the Crimean peninsula.

The deputy chief of the Russian armed forces’ General Staff, Colonel General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, dismissed the order as "nonsense."

"As for the Black Sea Fleet, we adhere to agreements that were signed by both sides. Those agreements clearly defined the status of our Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol and were not called into question until the Ukrainian side changed its mind," Nogovitsyn said.


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