Monday, April 04, 2005

Yushchenko Confirms Missile Sales to Iran

Preston Mendenhall, NBC News:
Ahead of his first visit to the United States since riding a wave of pro-democracy demonstrations to power in December, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko spoke to NBC’s Preston Mendenhall about the road ahead and his relationship with the United States.

For the first time, he confirmed Ukraine sold nuclear-capable cruise missiles to Iran. Yushchenko also said he is recovering from a poisoning he blames on his rivals for power in the former Soviet republic. READ MORE

Preston Mendenhall: How is your health?
President Viktor Yushchenko: Good, good. I feel much better than I did five months ago when it happened. And it's very important that we now know more about what kind of poison it was, how it got into me and most importantly, how to fight it. So I am very optimistic now. Everything's going according to plan.

Can you confirm that the Ukrainian missiles were indeed sold to Iran and China?
I can. I confirm that, although I do so with great bitterness. It wasn't done by this government and it isn’t done now. But when I became president, I gave orders to the Ukrainian security service to give an honest answer before the whole world.

It's true that Ukrainian missiles where sold to Iran and Iran. An investigation was conducted. A few days ago I received a memorandum which detailed sales through the fabrication of original documents, through a series of front men who were linked to of a number of countries, including Russia.

Can this happen again?
It won't happen again because we're another government. You know, that's not the reason why we stood on the square [during the “Orange Revolution”]. We want to carry out honest politics. And that's why a change in power was needed in the Ukraine. ...