President Confirms Withdrawal Of Ukrainian Contingent From Iraq

NEW YORK, NY -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has confirmed that the Ukrainian peacekeeping contingent will be withdrawn from Iraq before December 31.

Ukrainian soldiers in Iraq

Iraq is a zone of Ukraine’s interests, the president stated in the Newsweek magazine. He stressed that the stationing of Ukrainian peacekeepers in Iraq had demonstrated Ukraine’s commitment to its obligations.

Now, Ukraine pulls out its troops and begins a second phase of cooperation, Yushchenko said. He said gendarmes as well as specialists in military training and security would stay in Iraq.

The president also confirmed that his country was ready to participate in reconstruction projects in Iraq in cooperation with business partners from other states.

Earlier, Defense Minister Anatoly Gritsenko said 30 army officers, ten specialists from the border service and ten representatives from the Interior Ministry would stay in Iraq. They will work at headquarters and command facilities in Iraq.

Source: Itar-Tass