On 12 September a batch of 62 BTR-4 armoured personnel carriers (APC) started to be loaded on a ship at the Odessa Seaport in order to be transported by sea to Iraq.
On 13 September the loading is to be completed, and the vessel will go to the country of destination. The vessel is to arrive at the Iraqi port Um Qasr early in October 2012. The loading procedure was supervised by the Ambassador of Iraq in Ukraine Shorsh Khalid Sayed.
“We are very glad to accept the second batch of Ukrainian BTR-4s. This is a modern powerful vehicle, and the Iraqi experts are satisfied with its capabilities”, the ambassador said to Ukrainian journalists. “The situation in the Middle East is difficult, and Iraq does need these APCs. We have been fighting against terrorism, in particular, against Al Qaeda for seven years already, and these 62 vehicles will help us increase the level of security. Our relations with Ukraine are successfully developing. By receiving the second batch of the BTRE-4s we have reached a new stage of cooperation. We hope that by the end of this year we will receive the third batch of BTR-4s, because the contract is successfully fulfilled due to efforts of both sides”, said also Shorsh Khalid Sayed.
He emphasized the fact that the current Minister of Defence of Ukraine Dmitry Solomatin was doing his best to make this contract successful starting from the first day of his work at the State Enterprise “Ukrspecexport” and then, at the State Enterprise “Ukroboronprom”.
“It is also necessary to thank the top manager of State Enterprise “Ukrspecexport” Dmitry Peregudov. It would be difficult to fulfil this contract without his efforts. I know that there was a lot of doubts in the Ukrainian mass media about the fulfilment of this contract, but it is being fulfilled successfully, and after today’s shipment of the batch the journalists can get confident”, said the Iraqi ambassador.
Replying to a journalist’s question about the continuation of cooperation, the acting deputy director of State Enterprise “Ukrspetsexport” Vadim Kozhevnikov said that this contract between Ukraine and Iraq is a very big one and therefore it can lead to conclusion of new agreements.
In Mr. Kozhevnikov’s opinion, the new contracts that may be concluded in the future include contracts for supply of spare parts and technical support, which will provide the defence production facilities of Ukraine with orders for 10 to 20 years, because now Iraq is creating its armoured corps by using armoured vehicles of Ukrainian origin.
Mr. Kozhevnikov emphasized the fact that there were no breaks in fulfilment of the contract between Ukraine and Iraq. “The dialogue of the parties never stopped a minute. The plants involved in the fulfilment of the contract never stopped their production”.
Replying to the question about the dates of acceptance of the third batch of the BTR-4s, Vadim Kozhevnikov said that the shipment of 94 vehicles is planned to be carried out late in 2012.