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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian official dismisses reports of arms deliveries to Iraq

PLA Daily 2004-01-13

MOSCOW, Jan. 12 (Xinhuanet) -- A Russian government official on Monday refuted recent reports by American and British media claiming Russia had secretly exported military equipment to Iraq.

Such information was a "worn out record" that had been already used in the first days of the US-led invasion of Iraq, the unnamed official told Russian news agencies.

"There is an impression that the problematic military-terrorist situation, as well as continuing significant losses of the coalition forces, have repeatedly made them return to a canard that has already taken place," the official said.

He suggested these media pay more attention to British, Dutch, American and other Western companies that were directly involved in deliveries of military equipment to Iraq.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Russian Agency for Conventional Armaments (RACA) said its production plants -- including the Instrument-Making Design Bureau in Tula -- accused by the United States of shipping military exports to Iraq, had not breached international norms for arms sales.

"We have grown tired of saying that RACA plants have not supplied any arms in violation of international norms and rules, especially to countries supporting terrorism," he was quoted by Interfax as saying.

"These groundless claims are nothing but unfair competition," he noted.

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