Washington presses Russia over arms sales to Iraq
The United States continues to have an "ongoing discussion" with Russia over alleged sales of proscribed military equipment to Iraq, according to US State Department spokesman, Adam Ereli.
Ereli, who answered a reporter's question during the regular State Department briefing January 12, noted that this is "not a new story." Last March, the Department alleged that three private Russian firms were involved in illicit sales of sensitive military equipment to Iraq, including antitank guided missiles, thousands of night-vision goggles and half-dozen global positioning system (GPS) jamming devices.
“We told the Russians we took the matter very seriously and we raised the issue with the government numerous times at senior levels. We continue to look into this case," said Ereli. "I would say that we are receiving cooperation and we continue to pursue the case," he added.
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov adamantly denied the American accusations and stressed that his country had not supplied Iraq with any prohibited hardware in breach of UN sanctions. "No fact supporting the Americans' anxiety has been found," Ivanov stated. — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)