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Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Russia

Senate Disarms: US Senate Bans Military
from Collaboration with Rosoboronexport


By Robert Shemack

The United States Senate approved an amendment to its 2013 defense budget, prohibiting the U.S. Defense Department from buying arms from Russia’s largest weapons exporter, Rosoboronexport.

Translated By Rebecca Banfield

3 December 2012

Edited by Vic­to­ria Denholm


Russia - Rossiyskaya Gazeta - Original Article (Russian)

The United States Senate approved an amendment to its 2013 defense budget, prohibiting the U.S. Defense Department from buying arms from Russia’s largest weapons exporter, Rosoboronexport.

This amendment has been pursued “by hook or by crook.” Since last summer, senators have tried to put an end to collaboration with Rosoboronexport. However, in order for this decision to be enforced, the bill still has to be “approved” by U.S. President Barack Obama. Experts note that the U.S. president, without question, can’t imagine how serious the political consequences of the decision might be for relations between Moscow and Washington.

American senators pushed for the ban because Moscow allegedly “supplies weapons to Bashar al-Assad’s regime.” However, the senators can’t come up with any serious evidence supporting their accusations against Russia.

Let’s not forget Russia has repeatedly assured the international community it is not giving weapons to Syria. Moscow stresses that other than finishing a previously signed contract for improving the country’s existing military technology, it doesn’t offer any other kind of assistance to Damascus, aside from humanitarian aid. It is well known throughout the world that Russia feels the Syrian conflict must be handled in an extremely diplomatic manner.

“Enactment of the U.S. decision to prohibit contracts with Rosoboronexport could harm Russian-American cooperation,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said, commenting on the American senators’ decision. “In any case, we are against a policy that proposes sanctions and quasi-sanctions, regardless of its motivation,” he said.

Experts are certain that the American senators’ decision could result in not only political but also direct damage to the military cooperation between Moscow and Washington. At the end of November the U.S. military notified the Capitol of its intentions to purchase 12 Mi-17 helicopters from Rosoboronexport for Afghanistan’s armed forces, in addition to previous agreements. The contract, which includes services for equipment and spare parts, costs an estimated $217.7 million. Prior to that, the Pentagon had already placed orders for 21 helicopters for Afghanistan in the sum of $375 million.

“The position held by the American senators is not only counterproductive, but absolutely intolerable because you can’t make unfounded claims that Russia gives weapons to Syrian authorities and then require it to stop all contact with Rosoboronexport. The American Congress simply wants to put our country in its place. But they are not our masters,” Franz Klintsevich, Duma Committee Deputy Chairman of Defense, said.



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