Greg Walters / Bloomberg & Press TV – Iran & Barents Observer – 2008-10-25 22:24:49
US Imposes Sanctions on Russia, China for Supplies to Iran
Greg Walters / Bloomberg
NEW YORK (October 24, 2008) — The US government imposed sanctions on Russian, Chinese and Venezuelan companies for supplying what it said were materials used in making weapons of mass destruction to Iran, North Korea and Syria.
Companies including Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport and the China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Corp. were barred from entering into contracts with the US government, according to a document posted on the Web site of the US Federal Register and dated yesterday.
“A determination has been made that 13 foreign persons have engaged in activities that warrant the imposition of measures pursuant to Section 3 of the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act,” the US government said in the statement.
Sanctions against Rosoboronexport violate international law and will impact relations between Russia and the US, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in remarks broadcast by state television.
To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Walters in Moscow firstname.lastname@example.org
US Confronts Russia with Sanctions
Press TV – Iran
TEHERAN (October 24, 2008) — The US has placed its relations with Moscow in jeopardy with its imposition of punitive measures against major Russian companies.
In a Thursday statement, the US State Department announced that it placed sanctions against 13 companies in Russia, China and Venezuela for allegedly providing sensitive technology to countries such as Iran.
The blacklisted companies include Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport and the China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Corporation.
“A determination has been made that 13 foreign persons have engaged in activities that warrant the imposition of measures pursuant to Section 3 of the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act,” read the statement.
The Russians were quick to respond. “These new sanctions were introduced without any international legal foundation whatsoever,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.
“We will take this into account in our affairs, in our relations with the United States,” he affirmed, warning that the sanctions would by no means undermine Russia’s nuclear cooperation with Iran.
“If it seemed to someone in Washington that in this way the USA can make Russia more compliant in accepting American ways of resolving the Iranian nuclear problem, then they are mistaken,” declared Lavrov.
Washington and its allies accuse Tehran of pursuing nuclear weaponry and have criticized Russia for helping the country build its first nuclear power plant.
Iran, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), says it is entitled to uranium enrichment for civilian purposes, such as electricity generation.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has extensively monitored Iran’s nuclear work since 2003, said in its latest report that it could not find any ‘components of a nuclear weapon’ or ‘related nuclear physics studies’ in the country.
Some Western countries, however, continue to accuse the Islamic Republic of ‘methodically pursuing a program aimed at acquiring the nuclear bomb’.
The UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei has also touched on the issue, ruling out suggestions that the Iranian nuclear program should be considered hostile.
“They [Iranians], as I just recently mentioned still don’t even have the nuclear material, the low-enriched uranium, to develop one nuclear weapon,” he said Monday.
“But even if they decide to walk out tomorrow from the Non-Proliferation Treaty – and you go into a lot of scenarios – it is not that we are going to see Iran tomorrow having nuclear weapons.”
Medvedev and the Crisis
(October 24, 2008) — In the speech, available on the President’s website, Russian President Dmitrii Medvedev underlines that Russia has taken measures, which in the near future will restore the trust in the country’s financial sector and normal credit processes. He accused Western countries, and first of all the USA of having triggered the crisis and said that the world financial system now needs to be reformed.
Had the crisis taken place 5-7 years ago, it would not have affected much Russia, he remarked. “Now, however the situation is another — We are a country with an open economy.
“Measures are taken on the sustainable functioning of retail trade, agriculture, construction and machine-building, the military-industrial complex and small businesses, he said, adding that these are the industries in biggest need of state assistance following the decline in global demands and troublesome credit market.”
The president believes Russia will be able to avoid currency, bank and debts crisis thanks to the reserves accumulated over the last years. He actually believes Russia could get strengthened in the course of the crisis.
The need for cost cuts will force the companies to increase efficiency within energy use and labour, which subsequently will increase competitiveness of the industry. Meanwhile, the state will stimulate the innovation-oriented economy, create efficient jobs and assist in the retraining of personnel.
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