A few days ago there were reports that representatives of the “Southern Machine-Building Plant” (Dnepropetrovsk) are negotiating with representatives of China. In addition, there is information about some negotiations with an unnamed third party, allegedly taking place in Turkey. International cooperation in the field of industry and military equipment is the most common thing, but recent negotiations with the participation of Yuzhmash are cause for concern. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Yuzhmash plant was engaged in the construction of intercontinental ballistic missiles. As far as is known, documentation on such systems is still stored in the enterprise. Because of this, there is reason to fear the possible transfer of design documentation and technology to third countries.
An additional concern is the economic situation and the risks associated with it. The budget of Ukraine is bursting at the seams, which is why new authorities are forced to look for various ways to replenish it. No one can guarantee that in order to receive a critical loan from a third country, the authorities will not dare to hand over secret documents to it. Such a transaction may have international consequences. For example, the transfer of documents is capable of hitting Russia’s nuclear missile potential. At one time, Yuzhmash produced intercontinental missiles of the P-36M family, which are still in service with the Strategic Missile Forces of Russia.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has already responded to the latest news. The Foreign Ministry recalled that Ukraine is participating in two important international agreements: the Missile Technology Control Regime and the International Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (The Hague Code of Conduct).
Recall that the voluntary agreement “The Missile Technology Control Regime” was opened for signature in 1987, and since then it has been joined by the 34 states. The agreement implies control over the supply of technologies and equipment that can contribute to the creation of nuclear missile delivery systems weapons. All weapons systems, technologies and equipment that can be used to create nuclear warheads are divided into two categories. Category I includes missile systems with a range greater than 300 kilometers and a payload of more than 500 kg. Category II includes other systems, as well as various technologies and equipment necessary to create combat missiles. In accordance with the agreement, countries cannot transfer each other I category products, and the transfer of category II systems and technologies is possible only under certain conditions.
The Hague Code of Conduct contains a number of points that are mandatory for the participating countries. This agreement is aimed at the non-proliferation of technologies to create ballistic missiles capable of carrying weapons of mass destruction. In particular, the countries that have signed the treaty are obliged not to sell ready-made missiles capable of carrying a nuclear or chemical warhead, and also not to transfer the technologies necessary to create such systems.
The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed concern about recent reports on negotiations between Ukrainian industry and third countries. In addition, the Foreign Ministry hopes that the current Ukrainian leaders and defense enterprises, despite the difficult domestic and foreign policy situation, will continue to fulfill all their obligations and refrain from steps that directly contradict existing international agreements.
Official confirmation that the topic of negotiations with the participation of Yuzhmash is precisely the transfer of documentation on missiles, has not yet happened. Nevertheless, the available information proved to be a sufficient reason for the appearance of a comment by the Russian Foreign Ministry. Foreign countries have not yet commented on the information about the negotiations.
If the information about the negotiations is correct, and their topic really is the transfer of documentation on intercontinental ballistic missiles, then everything could end in a major international scandal. The transfer of technology and drawings is contrary to an international agreement and the world community is unlikely to leave this fact without attention. In addition, the transfer of documentation is able to spur the development of the missile forces of some third country. So far no one can guarantee that such a deal will not affect the balance of power.
From the available information it follows that China may become a potential recipient of the documentation. This country has sufficiently developed strategic missile forces (the 2 artillery corps) and is on duty for at least several dozen intercontinental ballistic missiles. Using old Soviet developments and technologies, Chinese designers are quite capable of upgrading their weapons and thereby increasing the potential of the 2 artillery corps.
At present, China wants to be a leader not only in Southeast Asia, but also in the entire Asia-Pacific region. Such plans of official Beijing cause concern to the countries of the region, as well as to states that have their interests in the Pacific. It is unlikely that these countries - from the USA to Vietnam - will be pleased that China will receive new strategic weapons systems. Thus, the current negotiations may affect the balance of power in one of the largest and most important regions of the planet.
The lack of full-fledged information about the current negotiations with the participation of the Ukrainian enterprise may serve as a pretext for the appearance of various assumptions. As a potential recipient of technology and documentation, Israel is already called, and if the “information deficit” persists, other assumptions may appear. It should be noted that even in the absence of accurate data on the subject of the negotiations and their participants, the latest news is cause for concern of several countries. Time will tell what will be the reaction of foreign states directly interested in the non-proliferation of missile weapons.
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