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UN: Committee To Await U.S. Probe Of Ukrainian Arms Sales

United Nations, 9 October 2002 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. officials have decided not to place Ukraine under scrutiny of a UN Security Council committee pending a U.S. investigation into allegations that Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma (pictured) approved the sale of a radar system to Iraq.

U.S. investigators are expected to arrive in Ukraine later this month following an agreement reached in Kyiv.

A U.S. diplomat at the UN told RFE/RL that Washington will wait for the results of that investigation before deciding whether to request action by the Security Council's Iraqi sanctions committee.

A U.S. State Department spokesman, Philip Reeker, said in New York late yesterday that Ukrainian officials have assured Washington of full transparency and have turned over some documents related to the issue. "It's something that we want to deal with expeditiously as part of our review of U.S. policy toward Ukraine and toward President (Leonid) Kuchma in particular."

The United States suspended $54 million in aid to Ukraine last month after U.S. experts authenticated a tape recording made by a former Kuchma bodyguard in which Kuchma is heard apparently clearing the sale of a "Kolchuga" early warning system to Iraq.