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Russian Arms Exporter Decries U.S. Sanctions

Rosboroneksport said the sanctions are an attempt to damage russian arms exports (ITAR-TASS) August 7, 2006 -- Russia's state weapons export monopoly, Rosoboroneksport, today called the sanctions slapped on it by the United States on August 4 an "unfriendly act" aimed at destabilizing Russia's defense industry.

The United States imposed sanctions on Rosoboroneksport, Russian jetmaker Sukhoi, and five other companies from India, North Korea, and Cuba, for selling material to Iran it says could be used for making weapons of mass destruction.

Under the sanctions, the U.S. government is prohibited from dealing with any of those seven companies.

In a statement, Rosoboroneksport said its cooperation with Iran "is carried out strictly in accordance with international agreements and is limited exclusively to supplies of defensive armaments." General Director Sergei Chemizov said the sanctions will not affect his company since it has no contracts with the United States.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov criticized the sanctions in comments today to reporters in St. Petersburg. "Regarding the sanctions imposed by the [U.S.] State Department on Rosoboroneksport and the Sukhoi company, I can unambiguously say just one thing: These sanctions don't have the slightest relation to the nonproliferation issue."

The Russian Foreign Ministry has also criticized the sanctions, calling them unacceptable.

(AFP, Reuters, ITAR-TASS)

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