A week or so ago I mentioned allegations that president Yushchenko had been selling and supplying illicit Ukrainian-made arms to his pal Makheil Saakashvili at knock-down prices, and that a recent explosion at an ammunition dump may have provided 'cover'.
The sale of Ukrainian arms to Georgia was a thread that ran through Tymoshenko's otherwise cordial talks with president Putin last Thursday.
At their joint press conference Putin said, " We do not know, who made the decision on deliveries of special [military] technology and arms during the conflict. We do not know..but whoever it was, this person has made a huge mistake...it is called getting directly involved in an armed confrontation, pitting the Russian and Ukrainian nations against one another. And if we confirm this, we will break-off contacts with those people which permitted this."
Although Tymoshenko admitted all arms sales are under the control of the president and National Security and Defence Council, she was most cautious in her replies, saying that allegations in these matters have not yet been confirmed, and added that the VR had set up a 'special' investigative committee to investigate further.
But whether intentionally or not, she made a significant slip. The VR has in fact set up a 'temporary' investigative committee, not a 'special' one. According to the Constitution, a 'special' committee is created only for one purpose – the initiation of procedures for impeachment..
Commentators agree that following Tymoshenko's visit to Moscow, Putin has a new favourite in Ukraine -Yu.V.T.