Russia criticises US sanctions against Russian arms exporter (Lead)

October 24th, 2008 - 9:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Oct 24 (RIA Novosti) The sanctions imposed by the US on Russia’s state-run arms exporter contravene international law and will affect ties with Washington, Russia’s foreign minister said Friday. The economic sanctions on Rosoboronexport were imposed in connection with the alleged proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

“The US introduced these sanctions without any basis in international law. We will take that into account in our relations with the US,” Foreign Minster Sergei Lavrov said.

Sanctions were also imposed on the same grounds against Venezuela, China, North Korea, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Sudan, Syria, as well as the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards.

Lavrov said the sanctions would not force Russia to make concessions on Iran’s nuclear programme.

“If some people in Washington think that this would make Russia more amenable to the US approaches with regard to the Iranian nuclear problem, they are wrong,” Lavrov said.

The sanctions are valid for two years and bar any US aid, contracts or arms sales to the blacklisted entities.

The order was signed on Oct 16 and came into effect Thursday.

A Rosoboronexport representative called the sanctions a “manifestation of unethical competition”.

Earlier in July and December 2006, the US had imposed sanctions on Rosoboronexport for allegedly passing on equipment to Iran that could be used to develop weapons of mass destruction.

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