Tue Mar 4, 2014, 06:27 PM
mwrguy (3,025 posts)
Obama has been working for peace in Ukraine since 2005
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
DONETSK, Ukraine – U.S. Senators Dick Lugar (R-IN) and Barack Obama (D-IL) called for the immediate destruction of 15,000 tons of ammunition, 400,000 small arms and light weapons, and 1,000 man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) or shoulder missile launchers that are often sought by terrorists.
Lugar and Obama toured the Donetsk State Chemical Production Plant, a conventional weapons destruction facility where the U.S. has taken the lead in a three-year NATO program to destroy the weapons. Another 117,000 tons of ammunition and 1.1 million small arms and light weapons are slated for destruction within 12 years.
So far, the U.S. has contributed $2.1 million to the project, and Austria, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom have contributed $1.2 million.
While the destruction is ready to begin, the Ukrainian Rada (parliament) first must pass a law exempting the foreign assistance from taxation. Lugar and Obama discussed this issue with Rada Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn, Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko and President Viktor Yushchenko in meetings yesterday. All three leaders indicated they would promote action before the March 2006 parliamentary elections.
The visit underscores the importance of legislation Lugar and Obama have authored that would commit additional U.S. resources and expand authorities in cooperative threat reduction of conventional weapons around the world. The bill is part of the Foreign Relations Authorization Bill that is pending in the Senate and will be introduced as a free-standing bill by the senators this fall.
By the late 1980’s, 75 percent of all Ukraine’s industrial capacity was used to produce Soviet weaponry, including strategic weapons. In June 1996, the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program successfully achieved the removal of all 1,240 deployed SS-19 and SS-24 strategic nuclear warheads from Ukraine.
“Vast stocks of conventional munitions and military supplies have accumulated in Ukraine. Some of this stockpile dates from World War I and II, yet most dates from Cold War buildup and the stocks left behind by Soviet withdrawals from East Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungry and Poland,” Obama said. “We need to eliminate these stockpiles for the safety of the Ukrainian people and people around world, by keeping them out of conflicts around the world.”
2 replies, 668 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Obama has been working for peace in Ukraine since 2005 (Original post)
Response to mwrguy (Original post)
Tue Mar 4, 2014, 07:16 PM
frazzled (13,798 posts)
2. But Obama came into office with no foreign policy experience!
And that is why he has so misunderstood that region! And, and ... Benghazi!
I actually remember this trip, because he was my newly elected senator in that year, and we were following his actions closely. This was long before anyone (perhaps even himself) had any inkling of presidential ambitions.
Who are the people making the charges of no foreign policy experience? It is both the press and the usual suspects in the Republican party. Have any of them ever met person-to-person with the principle players in Ukraine?
Lugar and Obama discussed this issue with Rada Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn, Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko and President Viktor Yushchenko in meetings yesterday.