#8 - JRL 7129
Russia Dismisses US Allegations of Weapons Sales to Iraq
MOSCOW, April 2. The efficiency of Russia's arms export controls cannot be questioned, Chairman of the State Duma (Lower House) Defence Committee Andrei Nikolayev said at a meeting with foreign military attaches accredited to Moscow. "Russia does not advocate anarchy in the arms market," he stressed.
Surprisingly, failures of the anti-Iraqi coalition somehow coincide with allegations that Russia delivered weapons to Iraq in violation of the international agreements, the chairman of the committee pointed out. Besides, after so many years of cooperation, the country may still have something left from old deliveries, he added.
At the same time, a closer inspection might also reveal US equipment in Iraq, Nikolayev emphasised. During the war between Iraq and Iran, the United States was helping both at the same time, the chairman of the committee recalled.
Without specific evidence, the US allegations can be dismissed as unfounded, the deputy noted. "Thus, they may accuse Russia of anything, even organising sandstorms and pouring down tonnes of sand on to coalition forces," he said.
Nikolayev believes that should someone supply Iraq with weapons, "it would be less sinful than exterminating the whole nation to punish the dictator and conquering the territory for one's own benefit." According to Nikolayev, such allegations may stem from Russia's "critical view of the US mistake."