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Russian Foreign Ministry Commentary Regarding the Imposition by US State Department of Sanctions against Rosoboronexport


The US State Department on October 23 announced the imposition of sanctions against Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, citing an internal American law – the Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act.

How many times they have been trying to “teach” our company to live according to other people’s rules. As of the announcement of the present decision, Rosobornexport among several other Russian organizations had for almost two years been under similar American sanctions. And now for two more years the American government is depriving its own companies of the benefits from cooperation with our advanced enterprises. Well, if they don’t want to, we don’t need them to cooperate with us. This will have no effect on our absolutely legal activities in the area of military technological cooperation with foreign countries, done in strict conformity with Russian legislation and international obligations and norms.

By the way, the American side does not even deny that all of our arms supplies abroad do not fall under any international restrictions, including decisions of the UN Security Council. Simply it evidently doesn’t like that we do it without asking for Washington’s permission. It is also well known to our American opposite numbers that the Russian side has always approached the sphere of the trade in arms with a high sense of responsibility. As to Iran – it is precisely MTC with that country that the sharp edge of the new anti-Russian sanctions points to – no one can dispute the objective fact that the Russian side always limits itself to supplies of solely defensive arms incapable of destabilizing the situation in the region.

And particularly cynical in this connection appears to be the declared “concern” for stability and security in some or other regions against the background of the threats periodically being heard from Washington to use force against the same Iran – or of the massive supplies by the United States of offensive weapons to internationally recognized conflict zones, such as the Georgian-South Ossetian and the Georgian-Abkhaz. That such a policy provokes aggressors to kill civilians and peacekeepers on a mass scale does not appear to be very disconcerting to the US.

We regard this new relapse of the application of a unilateral sanctions policy by the United States against the Russian organization as an unfriendly act which cannot but have an adverse impact on our dialogue with Washington, particularly in the context of the discussions within the group of six international mediators in the search for ways of a diplomatic settlement to the Iranian nuclear problem. By imposing unilateral sanctions against the Russian organization for cooperation with Iran, Washington actually tries to impose its own strategy of behavior towards Teheran that envisages solely the buildup of sanctions pressure. It is clear that such actions undermine cooperation within the framework of the Six. It’s time for the United States to decide if it is ready to continue cooperation within the “Six” on the basis of the agreed approaches.

October 24, 2008