US ban Russian, Chinese firms for ‘violating’ weapon trade law

WASHINGTON –TheUnited States has imposed sanctions on Russian and Chinese companies, including Russian state-owned arms exporter Rosoboronexport, for violating a US law restricting weapons trade with Iran, North Korea and Syria.

The US State Department published a notice of the sanctions in the Federal Register. They were later condemned by the Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.Moscow will take countermeasures in response to new US sanctions, Interfax news service reported, citing a commentary on the ministry’s website.

– Weaponsof mass destruction–

The StateDepartment’s notice did not specify how each company had run afoul of the United States’ Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act, but the act prohibits the trade with those three countries of goods, services, or technology used to make weapons of mass destruction or cruise or ballistic missiles.

Russia has supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a ‘civil war’ that has killed more than 200,000 people and displaced millions, including by supplying him with military gear.Iran and North Korea are under United Nations arms embargoes.The sanctions prohibit the US government from procuring goods or services from the listed entities, as well as selling them defence-related goods and services.

Additionally, no new licenses will be granted to export certain controlled goods to the listed entities, and any existing such licenses will be suspended.Many of the entities already faced multiple rounds of US sanctions.One of the individuals listed was Chinese businessman Li Fangwei, also known as Karl Lee.He has already been sanctioned for allegedly supplying Iran’s ballistic missile programme in violation of an embargo.

He denied the allegations in a 2013 media interview.The companies sanctioned also included China’s BST Technology and Trade Co, which had previously been sanctioned by the US in 2013, the Russian Aircraft Corp, and two North Korean firms. The Sudanese armed forces were also listed in the notice, as well as the overseas arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, called the Qods Force, and its commander QassemSoleimani.

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