Russia sells missiles to Sudan, Syria, Libya

By WND Staff

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The United States has determined that Russia continues to sell missiles and rocket-propelled grenades to such countries as Libya, Sudan and Syria.

The State Department has identified a series of state-owned Russian companies as selling the weapons to the three Arab countries over the last two years. U.S. officials said the Moscow government ignored repeated warnings to halt the sales of the conventional weapons.

Officials said Tula Design Bureau of Instrument Building sold anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles to Libya, Sudan and Syria. The State Scientific Production Enterprise Bazalt exported grenades. Another company cited was Rostov Airframe Plant 168.

Last week, the State Department announced sanctions on the three Russian companies but avoided penalties on the Russian government. Under the sanctions, the three firms will not be able to trade with the United States.

Industry sources said the sanctions will have no affect on the activities.

Libya, Sudan and Syria are among the seven countries that the United States has designated as state sponsors of terrorism. The others on the State Department list are Cuba, Iran, Iraq and North Korea.

The companies are not the first Russian firms to be sanctioned by the United States. In 1998, the State Department listed several companies linked to the Russian Atomic Energy Ministry for allegedly exporting equipment used for conducting nuclear-weapons tests.

In 1999, 10 additional firms were listed for allegedly transferring sensitive technologies to Iran. Three Russian companies were sanctioned for selling military equipment to Syria.

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