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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 23, February 1998

Detailed Russian Denial of Middle East Missile Cooperation

On 13 February, the Itar-Tass news agency carried a lengthy refutation by a senior Russian Defence Ministry official of numerous allegations that Russia was assisting various missile development programmes in the Middle East. In a written statement provided to the news agency, Colonel L. Ivashov, head of the Defence Ministry's International Military Cooperation Department, comments:

"For a rather long period, foreign mass media bodies have been conducting a campaign, supported by related State institutions of Western countries, primarily the United States, based on claims about the Russian alleged missile cooperation with other countries, including those from the Mideastern region. In their opinion, the alleged cooperation exceeds the limits of corresponding international non-proliferation agreements...

Russia understands as well as others the dangers of the proliferation of missile technologies and missiles...

That is why, when it is a matter of States located in the direct proximity of...Russian borders, we are interested more than other countries in the non-proliferation of missiles and missile technologies and the non-proliferation of mass-destruction weaponry. It is not important for us which specific country [is involved]...

The concept of...Russian national security, approved by the Russian President's decree No. 1300 of 17 December, 1997, puts a special accent on the fact that 'the proliferation of nuclear and other types of mass-destruction weaponry, the technologies of their production and delivery means, primarily in countries adjoining Russia or [in nearby] regions, is a serious threat.'

The Russian Defence Ministry is building its activity in the military-technical cooperation channel bearing that in mind... In this connection we state...that the Russian Defence Ministry does not have missile agreements or contracts with countries of the Middle and Near East.

As for cooperation in other spheres, bearing in mind the responsibility for the fulfillment of Russia's signed international treaties and agreements...we do not see any serious obstacles in the development of traditional military-technical cooperation with those countries, including that in the sphere of conventional armaments, and plan to develop such cooperation in accordance with bilateral agreements. ..."

Report: Russia doesn't have missile deals with Mideast - official, Itar-Tass, 13 February.

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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