Moscow, Oct 24 (UNI) The US has imposed sanctions against the Russian state arms exporter, Rosoboronexport, in connection with the alleged proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).
The order was signed on October 16 and came into effect on last Thursday, RIA Novosti news agency reported today.
The sanctions are valid for two years and bar any US aid, contracts or arms sales to the blacklisted entities.
''We view the imposition of sanctions with regard to the sole Russian facilitator of arms sales as a manifestation of unethical competition,'' the agency quoted Rosoboronexport spokesman Vyacheslav Davydenko as saying while commenting on the US ban.
US also imposed sanctions on Rosoboronexport In July and December 2006, for allegedly exporting equipment to Iran that could be used to develop weapons of mass destruction.
Russia is expecting to increase its arms exports to eight billion dollar in 2008, a senior government official said last Tuesday.
''The Russian government set the goal of raising arms exports to eight billion dollar in 2008, and we hope to reach or even exceed this goal by the end of the year,'' Konstantin Biryulin, deputy head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation said on the eve of the Euronaval 2008 arms trade show, which will be held at the Paris Le Bourget exhibition center on October 27-31.
Russia sold 7.4 billion dollar worth of weaponry in 2007 and in the first nine months of 2008 its arms exports increased by 23 per cent.
UNI XC PD HS2020