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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Rosoboronexport says U.S. sanctions may affect RRJ project

RIA Novosti

07/08/2006 15:43

MOSCOW, August 7 (RIA Novosti) - Sanctions imposed by the United States against Russian aircraft-maker Sukhoi and arms exporter Rosoboronexport may have negative effects on the Russian Regional Jet project, the Rosoboronexport head said Monday.

The U.S. State Department announced Friday the imposition of two-year sanctions against the state-owned companies over their cooperation with Iran and alleged violations of non-proliferation commitments, which Russia immediately denied slamming the sanctions as "unacceptable".

And Rosoboronexport boss Sergei Chemezov said the move could affect the future of a family of medium-range passenger aircraft developed by Sukhoi and Western companies.

"Work [on the project] is being conducted with Boeing and a number of other American companies," he said. "So there is the danger that the sanctions could somehow affect the project."

The RRJ project involves Boeing, Snecma, Thales, Messier Dowty, Liebherr Aerospace and Honeywell. The RRJ market until 2023 is estimated at 5,400-5,600 units, and valued at $100 billion.

Sukhoi plans to produce at least 700 RRJs, and intends to sell 35% of them to North America, 25% to Europe, 10% to Latin America, and 7% to Russia and China.

Relations between Moscow and Washington have been strained in recent months over Iran. Russia is helping Tehran build a nuclear power plant, whereas some countries, led by the United States, suspect Tehran of pursuing a secret weapons program. Iran has consistently stated that it only wants nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

Russia has also said that it intends to honor a contract to deliver air-defense systems to the Islamic Republic in a deal that angered the U.S.

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