Russia and Georgia fought a brief war in August after Tbilisi launched an attack on breakaway South Ossetia in a bid to bring it back under central control. Russia says that Ukraine supplied Tbilisi with weaponry during the conflict, and also sided with the West in support of Georgia.
"The events in the Caucasus have forced every country in this region to think about security. It turns out that not everything is so calm, that even Europe may experience military conflicts," Ukrainian Defense Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov was quoted as saying by Delo, a Russian-language business newspaper.
Yekhanurov said the plans for a redeployment of troops could be ready by the end of this week, but they should be first approved by the government and President Viktor Yushchenko.
The minister has reportedly singled out raising the combat readiness of air defense units and increasing security around strategically important facilities as priority tasks for 2009.
According to the Delo, Ukraine could initially increase the number of air defense units near the Russian border by redeploying them from its western regions. The modernization of the existing S-300, Buk-M1, Osa and Tunguska air defense systems is also on the agenda.
The redeployment and modernization plans could be hampered, however, by a lack of financing exacerbated by the global financial crisis, the paper added.
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Any response would likely boomerang on Russia – the partnership between Rosneft and ExxonMobil is a case in point. The United States has hit Russia with a third round of sanctions. This time the Americans went with a higher caliber weapon, targeting Russia’s biggest energy companies (Rosneft and Novatek) and banks (VEB and Gazprombank).