MOSCOW DERAILING ARMS EXPORT TALKS?
Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 65
An unidentified diplomatic source involved in talks taking place in Vienna said yesterday that Russia had reneged on an international agreement signed last year to promote transparency in global arms sales and that its actions were threatening the creation of a post-Cold War export control regime. The snag came as 31 Western and former Communist nations were set yesterday to begin talks on the so-called Wassenaar Arrangement, which is to replace the Cold War’s COCOM export control regime. But the talks never got started because Moscow refused to notify other participants of its arms sales to states viewed in the west as pariahs.
Sources suggested that Russia does not want to curb sales to such customers as Cuba, North Korea, and Iran because that would entail a loss of hard currency revenue. One European diplomat was quoted as saying that the Wassenaar agreement would "take a slice of the only markets" in which the Russians could sell their weaponry. (Reuter, April 2) The impasse comes amid a major push by Russia to raise its arms export income and as the nation’s broader foreign policy is being oriented away from the West and toward many of the former Soviet client states most criticized by the West.
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