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Russian Foreign Ministry Criticizes U.S. Sanctions

Moscow, 3 April 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Russia's Foreign Ministry has criticized the United States for imposing sanctions against two Russian companies for selling technology to Iran that could have been used for unconventional weapons.

The Foreign Ministry said that it learned of the sanctions through news reports. It said in a statement that Russia rejects in principle a nation imposing sanctions on an organization in another country.

The U.S. State Department said yesterday that it is imposing sanctions against 13 foreign countries, including the two Russian businesses. It said that it found that all the firms had dealings with Iran that the Nonproliferation Act of 2000 was designed to deter.

The sanctions bar the U.S. government from dealing with or providing assistance to the companies.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said that Russia has its own laws adequate to curb unauthorized operations involving sensitive