BEIRUT

World

Despite sanctions call, U.K. approves arms to Russia

Pro-Russian separatists stand guard at their check-point near the eastern Ukrainian city of rebel stronghold Donetsk on July 23, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ ALEXANDER KHUDOTEPLY

LONDON: Britain is still authorizing the export of arms and military equipment to Russia despite the government’s call for tough sanctions over Moscow’s arming of separatist rebels in Ukraine, a group of lawmakers said in a report Wednesday.

A group of legislative committees that oversee arms export controls said there were 251 export licenses in place for sale of goods worth at least 132 million pounds ($225 million) to Russia. The report did not detail actual exports, simply the licenses.

The permits cover sniper rifles, small arms ammunition, gun mountings, body armor, military communications equipment and “equipment employing cryptography.”

“Russia is an authoritarian regime,” said the committees’ chairman, Conservative lawmaker John Stanley. “We should have been applying a more cautious approach for some time in regard to Russia.”

Britain has been the most vocal European advocate of tougher sanctions on Russia since the downing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet last week. Western governments believe rebels shot down the plane with a Russian-made missile, killing all 298 people aboard.

Prime Minister David Cameron has criticized France for going through with a deal to sell warships to Russia.

In March, then-Foreign Secretary William Hague said Britain would halt the sale of military equipment to Russia that could be used against Ukraine. The lawmakers’ report said 31 licenses had since been revoked or suspended.

The British government said Wednesday that its policy was not to export anything that could be used for internal repression or against Ukraine. It said all licenses were kept under review.

U.K. exports represent only a fraction of total sales to Russia, which has spent $58 billion on defense in 2014, said Guy Anderson, a senior principal analyst for aerospace, defense and security at IHS Jane’s.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 24, 2014, on page 11.

Recommended

Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus
Summary

Britain is still authorizing the export of arms and military equipment to Russia despite the government's call for tough sanctions over Moscow's arming of separatist rebels in Ukraine, a group of lawmakers said in a report Wednesday.

A group of legislative committees that oversee arms export controls said there were 251 export licenses in place for sale of goods worth at least 132 million pounds ($225 million) to Russia.

The lawmakers' report said 31 licenses had since been revoked or suspended.


Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here