Ukraine Cooperates with NATO on Ammunition Disposal
Kyiv, July 13, 2012. The second stage of demilitarization of Ukraine within NATO’s Partnership for Peace (PFP) program has just started. In 3.5 years “it is planned to dispose of 76,000 tons of [off-grade] ammunition”, informed Dr. Vasyl Lytvynchuk, NAMSA Project Supervisor in Ukraine. Having started in 2006, the program will last for 12 years.The objective of PFP is to increase stability, diminish threats to peace and strengthen security relationships between individual Euro-Atlantic partners and NATO, as well as among partner countries.
Ammunition up for disposal includes three million anti-personnel mines PFM-1 and 366,000 light and small-arms weapons. The ammo will be utilized at specialized licensed facilities in four Ukrainian cities. The EUR 25 million budget of this stage of the project is financed by the USA, Germany, Switzerland, Turkey, Ireland, and the EU, reports KMU.gov.ua.
The first stage of the ammunition disposal project lasted from 2006 till 2011, and saw to the disposal of 15,000 tons of ammunition, 400,000 light and small-arms weapons, as well as 1,000 portable SAMs.
Ukraine also plans to dispose of its stock of mélange (oxidizer, rocket fuel component) by January 1, 2013. The EUR 18 million project is financed by Denmark, Czech Republic, Germany, Finland, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the USA. Overall, Ukraine inherited from the Soviet Union approximately 16,000 tons of excess and off-grade rocket fuel components, mainly mélange, reports UNN.com.ua.
Moreover, during 2012-2016 Ukraine will get rid of 100,000 grenade launcher fillers. Ukrainian defense ministry has paid over USD 12 million to have artillery and engineer ammunition, jet-propelled projectiles, anti-submarine, unguided missiles, bullets, anti-personnel mines, etc., utilized by December 10, 2012.
In June 2011, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Volodymyr Omelianchuk reminded that Ukraine had 400,000 tons of off-grade ammunition which needed to be disposed of. According to the respective state program, the ammunition will be disposed of by 2018.
Ukraine wound up in possession of numerous weapons, ammunition, and military equipment after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The country has already gotten rid of its nuclear heritage. The last nuclear warhead was shipped from Ukraine to Russia in 1996.
In March 2012, the country removed its entire stock of highly-enriched uranium. Before that a significant amount of enriched uranium remained in storage at several Ukrainian research institutions.