The Ukrainian ballistic missile early warning stations in Mukacheve and Sevastopol were withdrawn from combat duty at midnight on Thursday and will be used as outer space monitoring systems after a month long technical maintenance.
"Due to the expiration of the Ukrainian-Russian agreement on SPRN of 1997, our stations were withdrawn from combat duty at midnight on Thursday, February 26, and have been subjected to technical maintenance," a high-ranking military official told Interfax on Kyiv on Thursday.
"The maintenance is a routine event, which we did not have the ability to conduct earlier because the early warning radar stations were operated by the Russian side," said the source.
"After a month long technical maintenance, the stations will enter simplified daytime operation mode as outer space monitoring systems," said the source, adding that some of the stations will continue working round the clock.
The early warning radar stations in Mukacheve and Sevastopol are the property of Ukraine. Under a Russian-Ukrainian agreement, information from the stations, which monitor the space over central and Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, was received by the SPRN central command of the Russian Space Forces until February 26.
In February 2008, Russia, which is now completing the state tests of the stations of the new series Voronezh-DM, unilaterally withdrew from the Ukrainian-Russian intergovernmental agreement on SPRN signed in 1997.
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