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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Moscow outraged by U.S. sanctions against 3 Russian companies

RIA Novosti

06/01/2007 16:20 MOSCOW, January 6 (RIA Novosti) - U.S. sanctions against Russian enterprises are an attempt to extend American laws to foreign companies, the Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

The Bush administration imposed new sanctions on three Russian companies and organizations - arms exporter Rosoboronexport, the Tula Instrument-Making Design Bureau, and the Kolomna Machine-Building Design Bureau - for allegedly selling missiles and weapons goods to Iran and Syria, according to The Washington Times.

"This is certainly not the first time the U.S. has made an illegal attempt to apply its domestic laws to foreign companies and force them to operate according to American rules," the ministry said in a statement.

The U.S. sanctions against Russian companies are unjustified and unfair, a senior Russian member of parliament said Friday.

"[Our] U.S. partners are once again acting superficially and shortsightedly," said Konstantin Kosachev, head of the State Duma International Affairs Committee.

"Export control in Russia is strict, and all arms sales are in full compliance with control regime mechanisms and Russia's international obligations," he said.

Rosoboronexport said it regards the U.S. sanctions as a form of unfair competition.

"We believe that the imposition of new sanctions is a manifestation of unfair competition with respect to us, as well as to the Russian Federation as a whole," company spokesman Valery Kartavtsev said.

He said Rosoboronexport has not received any official notification about the nature of sanctions imposed by the U.S. State Department.

"We are therefore not in a position to comment on the situation," he said.

The sanctions ban the companies from conducting business with U.S. companies for two years.

Last July, Washington accused two Russian companies - combat jet maker Sukhoi and Rosoboronexport, as well as several counterparts from India and North Korea, of violating the U.S. Nonproliferation Act of 2000 by selling weapons to Iran. Russia denied any wrongdoing, saying all its weapons deals are in line with international regulations.

The sanctions against Sukhoi, the manufacturer of advanced Flanker fighters, and Rosoboronexport involved a ban on financial operations and the denial of export licenses.

The United States lifted its sanctions against Sukhoi in mid-November.

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