Russia weapons sales criticized


Russian weapons sales to Syria and Iran further threaten to destabilize the region, a member of the U.S. Congress warned.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), a ranking member of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee , has introduced legislation condemning the sales, urging Russia to cease the sales and calling on the Bush administration to impose sanctions on Russian groups that deal arms to Iran and Syria.

Ros-Lehtinen estimates that Russians have sent $1.7 billion worth of high-tech weapons systems, aircraft and missiles to Iran, and $800 million worth of arms to Syria over the past four years. News reports claim that Iran also is looking to buy Sukhoi Su-30 fighter planes from Russia.

“Media reports that Russian-built weapons provided to Syria and Iran were used by Hezbollah to attack Israel during the 2006 conflict in Lebanon have only added to my concern over the nature and intent of these sales by the Russian government,” Ros-Lehtinen said.

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