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Officials Start Refusing Creation of Base of the Air Forces of the USA in Ulyanovsk

Officials Start Refusing Creation of Base of the Air Forces of the USA in Ulyanovsk

All cargoes of NATO which are planned to forward to Afghanistan through a transit point in Ulyanovsk will pass customs inspection, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin declared on Tuesday.

“Customs inspection is obligatory. Finish panic. You have got frightened of NATO closets!” — Rogozin wrote on his page in Facebook.

He also confirmed that one doesn’t plan to place base of NATO near Ulyanovsk for these purposes. “I am get tired to read about “base of the USA near Ulyanovsk“. I explain: it is a question of so-called “multimodal transit of not flying cargoes for the needs of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan“, — Rogozin noticed.

According to him, mineral water, napkins, tents and other not military cargoes will be overloaded from a train to planes in Ulyanovsk and go further to Afghanistan. “This transit — commercial, that is the budget of the Russian Federation receives money for it. I do not think that transit NATO toilet paper through Russia is treachery of the Native Land”, — Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation wrote.

In the middle of February the chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation general Nikolay Makarov declared that the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation didn't conduct negotiations with NATO about rent of the landing area in Ulyanovsk. Thus he commented messages of mass media that the Russian Federation is ready to sign a contract on multimodal return transit of cargoes from Afghanistan which will combine air and land transfer of cargoes with NATO. According to the scheme, cargoes should be delivered by air from Afghanistan to the Russian Federation passing Uzbekistan. Thus trains for further sending of cargoes to NATO countries should be formed in Russia. The airfield in Ulyanovsk was considered as transit point.

Meanwhile the State Duma received official reply of the Ministry of Defence in relation to transit point in Ulyanovsk. It won't be military base of NATO and the USA, the head of Defensive Committee of the State Duma Vladimir Komoyedov declared to journalists on Monday. It’s stated in reply of the Ministry of Defence that cargoes transported through the territory of the Russian Federation will be examined by customs officers and that transit point in Ulyanovsk isn't military base of NATO or the USA.

From editorial board: So that it will be clear: what military base represents? Everything you like - former 201st division in Tajikistan is - military base now, but in fact it’s what it used to be before. Though landing area in Manas – is also military base. Air Force base.

Let's start untangle slowly what responsible and not so responsible people say. At first general Makarov denied everything at all. Even rent of the airfield. Now, it appears, the American planes will be loaded in Ulyanovsk and fly to Afghanistan. One should also understand that majority of them will come back from there as well. What will they do in Ulyanovsk? It is clear - to refuel, to pass servicing, probably some small repair. Will simply stay there waiting for loading. The crews will have rest in Ulyanovsk - to sleep, to gain forces, to pass somewhere preflight medical examination and so on.

If all these actions assume rent of airfield or its part? Obviously! Unless the locals who are in our case the Russians will be allowed to the servicing of the plane of the U.S. Air Force? Unless the pilot will pass medical examination in the regional policlinic? Unless private security firm of Ulyanovsk will protect planes of the U.S. Air Force?

That is infrastructure of air field service will be concentrated in Ulyanovsk except planes of permanent basing. Under our regulations - Separate battalion of air field service. On NATO standards – also something like that. Certainly, it is possible to call it "logistic center", but in fact it’s military base of the U.S. Air Force. After all it’s possible to call aircraft carrier "logistic center", why not?

Here you are Mr. Rogozin talking about dry closets and toilet paper, but at the end of November the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov declared that Russia and NATO agreed about facilitated transit of armoured cars with strengthened anti-mine protection to Afghanistan. If it’s "not flying” weapon?

However, military base assumes certain special status. Though in fact it will be – there will be customs control Rogozin talks about - but without possibility of survey of the onboard content. That is the customs inspector will meet the American military official who will handle him papers according to which the cargo of dry closets follows to Afghanistan. Our official should either take a word, or, if he has some data, send a board back – but he can’t check it. It’s so under the contract. It’s already ex-territorial status de-facto.

Who won't allow the customs official and all other in general to go aboard the American plane? One can assume that military personnel of the USA from battle security - or employees of private military companies also from the USA. They will as well have special rights in the territory of the Russian Federation.

Yes, now we are talking about military transport aircraft. But it’s now. Nothing else’s being required for the time. When there will be a need, other types of planes of the Air Force of the USA can land in already mastered airfield.

Аnatoly Baranov

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