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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Rosoboronexport unaffected by U.S. sanctions - head

RIA Novosti

07/08/2006 15:28

MOSCOW, August 7 (RIA Novosti) - U.S. sanctions against Rosoboronexport will not affect the company's work, the general director of the Russian state arms exporter said Monday.

The U.S. State Department announced Friday the introduction of two-year sanctions against Rosoboronexport and state-owned aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi over their cooperation with Iran.

"The sanctions will affect Rosoboronexport in no way as we have no contracts with the U.S. on arms supplies or purchases of any weapons by the United States," Sergei Chemezov said adding that the company currently had orders worth $21 billion.

Chemezov said he hoped the U.S. would cancel the sanctions, which he called groundless.

He also said Rosoboronexport had proposed the U.S. direct arms supplies with no mediators, but the idea had been greeted unenthusiastically. "Unfortunately, they ignored our suggestion," he said.

The Russian companies denied the U.S. accusations and the Foreign Ministry slammed the U.S. sanctions Friday saying, "Our companies stand accused of violating the Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000. We consider these actions by the U.S. State Department unacceptable."

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.

"Russian companies cooperating with other countries in the military-technical sphere are acting in strict compliance with the rules of international law, as well as Russian law, including Russia's obligations on nuclear nonproliferation and export control," the ministry said.

A high-ranking source in the Russian Defense Ministry called these sanctions Saturday "dishonest competition on the arms market."


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