03 Apr 14. Russia seeks increased defence production with Belarus to replace Ukraine suppliers. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin announced on 1 April that Moscow would seek to expand its military-technical co-operation with Belarus: an action provoked by the situation in Ukraine.
“We have some very robust support from our Belarusian colleagues, and the objective of my visit here is to survey what other products they might be able to produce for us in response to this new situation [with Ukraine],” said Rogozin during a meeting in Minsk with Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko.
Russian-Ukrainian defence industry trade and co-operation has historically been substantial. For example, Russian officials stated at the 2013 Moscow International Aviation and Space Exposition (MAKS) that negotiations with Ukroboronprom at the event had included proposals for USD200 million-worth of defence orders. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
04 Apr 14. South Korea develops new long-range ballistic missile. The South Korean Defence Ministry has developed a new long-range ballistic missile to boost its defences against North Korean missile threats, an unnamed South Korea military official has revealed. The missile, with a range of 500km and a 1t payload, was successfully test-fired by the state-funded Agency for Defense Development (ADD), at a testing range in Taean, South Chungcheong Province late last month, Yonhap News Agency reports. The test launch of the missile, which is scheduled to be deployed in 2015, follows the firing of a series of short-range rockets and mid-range missiles by Pyongyang in the last few weeks, which was in response to the ongoing annual joint-military drills between South Korea and the US. South Korean Defence Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok was quoted by the news agency as saying that the missile development forms part of follow-up measures after the revision of missile guidelines by South Korea and the US. Signed in 1979, the bilateral missile pact saw the US assist in missile technology development, but limited the South Korean ballistic missile range to 180km. However, this was revised in October 2012 to extend the range from the existing 300km to 800km, with a maximum payload of 500kg. This also enabled Seoul, which currently operates Hyunmoo ballistic missiles with a range of 300km, to develop heavier payloads for short-range missiles. (Source: army-technology.com)
03 Apr 14. 03 Apr 14. Russia tells Nato to justify ramping up eastern Europe presence. Russia has called on Nato to justify moves to boost its presence in eastern Europe in a reminder of one of Moscow’s “red lines” in its fraying relations with the west. Sergei Lavrov, foreign minister, said Russia had posed questions to the alliance on whether its increased activity in states bordering Russia was consistent with agreements agreed upon between Moscow and the alliance. “We are expecting not just any answer but an answer fully respectful of the rules we have co-ordinated,” he said. The agreements include the Rome Declaration and the Russia-Nato Founding Act, which lay down a framework for communication and cooperation between the alliance and Moscow. The complaint comes after Nato suspended its co-operation with Russia over Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and said it had agreed with Ukraine on measures to strengthen Ukraine’s ability to provide for its own security, while Poland asked for the deployment of two heavy brigades of Nato troops on its territory. (Source: FT.com)
04 Apr 14. Nato chief defends eastern advance. Nato’s secretary-general has angrily defended the alliance’s stepped-up military deployments in central and eastern Europe, saying they were part of its “core task” to defend members under threat of attack. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the outgoing Nato chief, said Russian accusations that Nato was violating “red lines” in their bilateral post-cold war agreements were false and instead argued it was the Kremlin that had failed to re