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Yushchenko Confirms Missile Sales to Iran, China

President Yushchenko (file photo) 1 April 2005 -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko says the country's former regime secretly and illegally sold nuclear-capable cruise missiles to Iran and China.

In an interview with U.S. television late yesterday, Yushchenko confirmed Ukrainian officials' earlier reports of the sale. In his words, "I confirm this, though I do so with bitterness."

Yushchenko said the X-55 missiles were exported under a forged contract that had Russia as the country of destination. A copy of the contract obtained by the TV network NBC appears to bear clearance stamps for the export of 20 missiles to Russia.

Moscow officials deny any involvement. Yushchenko is due to meet with U.S. President George W. Bush at the White House on 4 April. He is to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress on 6 April.