Saturday, August 05, 2006

U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Russian Arms Suppliers

The United States has imposed sanctions on two state-owned Russian companies - Rosoboronexport and aircraft maker Sukhoi - which are selling arms to Iran, the FT reports:
US relations with Russia hit another obstacle on Friday when the State Department imposed sanctions on two Russian companies – one of which has close connections with President Vladimir Putin – for selling arms to Iran. The move angered the Russian government.

The State Department imposed the sanctions on the two companies, as well as two Indian firms, two North Korean companies and a Cuban group, because it said they were exporting material that could contribute to the development of weapons of mass destruction by Iran or a cruise or ballistic missile system.

In imposing sanctions the State Department is hitting at a close friend of Mr Putin. Sergei Chemezov, who heads Rosoboronexport, served as a KGB officer with the Russian president in East Germany in the 1980s and has boasted that their relationship helped his company “get a lot of issues resolved fast”.
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