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Monday, 14 October, 2002, 13:07 GMT 14:07 UK
Experts probe Ukraine-Iraq link
Iraq missile launcher
The West fears Ukraine has helped the Iraq military

British and American investigators have met senior officials in the Ukraine following allegations that the country sold a military radar system to Iraq.

Ukraine's President, Leonid Kuchma, is accused of personally approving the alleged $100m deal.

His conversations were allegedly recorded by one of his bodyguards and the tapes were then handed to the US government.

President Leonid Kuchma
President Kuchma's chief of stuff promised full co-operation
During today's talks, the Western investigators and the Ukrainians agreed the ground rules for what's expected to be a 10-day inquiry.

The British and American team will be able to visit the military bases where Ukraine's radar systems are located and the factory where the equipment i's manufactured.

After the meeting, President Kuchma's chief of staff, Viktor Medvedchuk, promised Ukraine's full co-operation.

He said Ukraine was very worried by the charges that it had aided Saddam Hussein.

If the Kolchuga radar system has been transferred to Iraq, it would enhance the country's air defences.

The Kolchuga is able to detect incoming aircraft without the pilot's realizing -- a great concern for Britain and America as they contemplate a possible conflict with Iraq.

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The BBC's Jonathan Charles
"The Americans say they've been stabbed in the back"

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14 Oct 02 | Europe
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