U.S. ready to provide more modern weapons to Ukraine once system created to hinder leaks to third countries – ex-military attaché
Volodymyr Havrylov, ex-Defense Attaché of Ukraine in the United States (2015-2018), said that the United States is ready to provide Ukraine with more modern weapons after a system is created for protecting military technologies from being transferred to third countries.
The comment came during a round table on military-technical cooperation between Ukraine and the United States, held in Kyiv, according to an UNIAN correspondent.
"The option of military-technical assistance from the United States looks so simple and cheap, but in fact, what we got from them, except for Javelins, is quite old systems which were not always adequate to the developments, but we should be very grateful to the USA for the fact that we were given at least this, because in 2014 we had nothing at all," he said.
According to Havrylov, the first batch of counter-battery radars that Ukraine received from the United States yielded a corresponding effect, although Russia learned to quickly deal with them, since they were outdated.
As for modern weapons, the former defense attache noted that he was present at all negotiations on transferring it to Ukraine from 2015 to 2018. "There has always been a political issue as a barrier to the transfer of modern technology. This political issue concerns confidence in Ukraine, as an end user of American high-tech products in order to avoid the threat of this technology getting into third countries. With the advent of the Trump administration, this issue was especially acute due to the fact that there is a China factor," he said.
During the cadence of Barack Obama, there were fears that the transfer of new weapons to Kyiv annoyed Russia and could lead to an escalation in Donbas, the diplomat said.
"Every time it came to the transfer of more serious weapons with the support of the Pentagon, the U.S. Congress, the last word was with the administration [of Barack Obama]; there were always a few people who said no, let's be careful, because perhaps Russia will go for a global escalation of conflict, and the United States is not ready to respond to this," he said.
Havrylov noted that under Trump, the situation with the transfer of arms to Ukraine has changed. "When Trump arrived, he didn't really understand the issues of Ukraine, there were other priorities, but he recruited a team of closest advisers from the military, who helped him quickly respond to the needs of Ukraine. We got Javelins fast enough," he added.
However, the former military attache noted that Ukraine, in order to continue military-technical cooperation with the United States, has plenty of homework to do.
"First of all, we must create a control system to prevent transfer to third countries of technologies that we receive from the Americans. This system should be sufficiently clear, transparent and understandable. The Pentagon constantly reminded us of this, they assigned special advisers who came to Ukraine and helped us do this, but each time it came across the unpreparedness of our government, the Ministry of Defense. Not everyone understood what it was all about. Everyone is accustomed to living by the mechanisms that we had before the war. Only now, after three or four years of negotiations, we come to a more or less understandable mechanism how, at least through the Ministry of Defense, those technologies that Americans can transfer to us in the form of military assistance, or when we purchase something from them, should be protected directly," he added.
Havrylov expressed hope that a bilateral agreement between Ukraine and the United States would be signed in the near future, which, he said, had already passed the necessary consultations, and a text was agreed, that would allow the U.S. and Ukrainian defense ministries to "begin an open and trusting process of work on joint projects."
"Now there is a question of trust in our system of protecting those technologies and weapons that can be transferred to us, and so the American industry is ready, the Pentagon is fully in favor, Congress is not against it. Everything will now rest on Ukraine's homework," he concluded.