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Ukraine: U.S. Against Arms Deal With Libya

Washington, 10 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - The United States says it would take very seriously allegations that Ukraine is selling missiles to Libya.

White House spokesman Michael Mccurry said yesterday the United States has concerns about the government of Libya and about the commitment of Ukraine and other countries to non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

"We would raise those concerns very directly," Mccurry said. He was referring to a report in the "Washington Times" newspaper which said Ukraine has agreed to sell short-range ballistic missiles to Libya and service its Russian-made submarines in deals estimated to be worth $510 million.

At the U.S. State Department, spokesman Glyn Davies said the United States regards Libya as "a rogue state" because its government supports international terrorism.

Davies said the United States believes Ukraine is committed to upholding the U.S. position. He noted that earlier this year, the United States discussed with the Ukrainian government concerns about trading with Libya.

The U.S. Congress has attached a provision blocking all U.S. assistance to Ukraine if that country is engaged in trading arms with Libya. In the current fiscal year, the United States planned to spend $225 million on Ukraine.