Saturday, October 25, 2008

Russia slams US Sanctions meant to punish firms for sales that have potential to the development of WMD Russia warned Friday that US sanctions on a Russian firm accused of defying a ban on sales of sensitive military technology to Iran will affect talks between world powers on Tehran's nuclear programme.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov explained in a press conference that Washington's unilateral approach was "inadmissible," not based on international law and threatened to wreck Iranian cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Russia's foreign ministry described the sanctions against Rosoboronexport are an "unfriendly act which cannot but have negative consequences as regards our dialogue with Washington, in particular in discussions between the Six," a statement said.

Thirteen foreign firms, including Russia's biggest arms exporter, were listed Friday in the US State Department's Federal Register as being "engaged in activities that warrant imposition of measures" under its Iran, North Korea and Syria Non-Proliferation Act.

The United States says the sanctions -- also targeting firms from China, Syria and Venezuela among other countries -- are meant to punish the firms for sales that have "potential to make a material contribution to the development of weapons of mass destruction or cruise or ballistic missile systems."

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