Georgia paid Ukraine for Buk air defense system - Georgian Defense Ministry
Georgia, Ukraine, and the Buk system
In 2007, Georgia received the Buk anti-aircraft missile system from Ukraine, for which the former paid several million dollars, according to a special statement by the Georgian Defense Ministry, which also says that in 2017 the Department of Defense paid the United States tens of millions of dollars for the purchase of the Javelin anti-tank system.
According to Acting Ambassador of Ukraine Andriy Kasyanov, the Ukrainian authorities asked Georgia to return the Buk-type anti-aircraft missile systems, which Ukraine transferred to Georgia during the 2008 war, but were categorically refused. Kasyanov talks about this in an article written for Evropeyskaya Pravda, entitled “How Georgia Helps Ukraine and Where Problems Remain.”
Kasyanov writes that Ukraine’s request also included the transfer of Javelin anti-tank systems given to Georgia by the US. According to the diplomat, the latter were not only agreed upon with the United States, but there was even a proposal to replace them with new weapons.
The Ministry of Defense said in a statement: “We would like to respond to the so-called statement circulated by experts and individual media. It maintains that Ukraine donated the Buk air defense system to Georgia, which is not true. The Buk system was acquired by the Ministry of Defense in 2007 for several million. This was done under a secret agreement, so we cannot reveal the details. We explain to the public that in 2017 the Ministry of Defense also paid tens of millions of dollars for the purchase of Javelin anti-tank systems.
“It is also noted that, based on the available opportunities, Georgia continues to provide humanitarian and political support to Ukraine.
“Regarding the transfer of weapons or dual-use equipment to Ukraine, the Georgian government has repeatedly voiced a clear position on this issue,” the statement says.
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After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, relations between Georgia and its strategic partner deteriorated. In February, Georgia did not join the sanctions imposed by the West against Russia in support of Ukraine. Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said that Georgia will not join the Western sanctions against Russia, as this is contrary to its national interests and the sanctions will not stop the hostilities in Ukraine.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky recalled the Ukrainian ambassador to Georgia for consultations. One reason for this decision was the position of the Georgian government regarding sanctions. Until now, Ukraine does not have a permanent representative in Georgia – the duties of the ambassador are temporarily being performed by Andrei Kasyanov.