Kyiv dismisses allegations of illegal arms shipments to South Sudan
The accusations leveled at Ukraine by Amnesty International and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), an international journalistic organization, saying that Ukraine violated its international export-control obligations have no legal grounds, the Ukrainian State Service of Export Control (SSEC) said in an official statement on its website.
Ukraine is a member of all international export-control regimes and strictly adheres to their requirements and to relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the statement says.
"Ukraine regularly submits reports on arms exports to the UN Register of Conventional Arms and the regimes' secretariats. Neither the member countries of the regimes nor UN members have ever accused Ukraine of not complying with its international obligations, as our state has not shipped weapons in contravention of international and national restrictions," it said.
The SSEC said it carefully analyzed the accusations and explained: "South Sudan is a member of the UN and has been recognized by Ukraine; the UN Security Council has not imposed a full and comprehensive ban on arms shipments to that country."
"At the same time, it has been determined that Ukrinmash has not shipped any weapons to South Sudan: the State Service of Export Control has not given the relevant permits to the company in question," it said.
"As regards the operations of the private company Techimpex, it lies within the framework of legal business: the products manufactured by that company, including those that used imported components, were shipped in 2014-2016 to Ethiopia, the UAE, Chad, and Uganda, which are not under UN or European Union restrictions," the SSEC said. "According to international reports, other states, including European ones, have also regularly shipped weapons to these countries," it said.
AI's and the OCCRP's reports are "emotional" and do not have the authority of legal judgments by international experts, and behind their groundless accusations one can see attempts "to use dirty techniques" to weaken the Ukrainian enterprises' positions on the global arms market, it said.
The SSEC pointed out that the accusations of violating international export-control obligations have been leveled at Ukraine in the run-up to "a momentous decision by its strategic partners on providing Ukraine with defensive weapons and increasing military assistance."
It had been reported earlier that the OCCRP accused Ukraine of involvement in a network of illegal re-exports of weapons from European Union countries to Africa and the Middle East. The Ukrainian companies Ukrinmash and Techimpex, as well as the UK-based private firm S-Profit and Poland-based Army Trade were mentioned among the entities involved in that network.
Amnesty International published a report at the beginning of this week saying that the Ukrainian state company Ukrinmash was involved in illegal shipments of firearms and artillery weapons to South Sudan through intermediaries in the United Arab Emirates. Ukrinmash denied the allegations.
Amnesty International also claimed in 2012 that Ukraine had illegally supplied South Sudan with tanks via Kenya in 2007-2009.