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U.S. presses Ukraine on arms sales

From CNN Moscow Bureau Chief Jill Dougherty


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•  Commanders: U.S. | Iraq
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MOSCOW (CNN) - The U.S. government says it is continuing dialogue with Ukraine about weapons sales to Iraq, amid press reports that Ukrainian arms dealers sold Russian-made anti-tank missiles to Baghdad.

Newsweek magazine, citing Pentagon sources, said Iraq had bought 1,000 Kornet anti-tank missiles from Ukrainian dealers. The missiles are made by a Russian company, KBP Tula, which the U.S. accuses of supplying arms to Baghdad. The company denies any such sales. (Full story)

Ukraine's arms export agency also has denied the Newsweek report.

Patricia Guy, press attaché for the U.S. Embassy in Kiev told CNN: "We are working with a number of other countries, including Ukraine, to address our concerns, not only about direct military transfers of military equipment to states that sponsor terror, but also about transfers to questionable entities in third countries that might re-transfer equipment to countries such as Iraq."

Guy could not confirm that the United States had evidence of Ukrainian transfers of military weapons to Iraq. She said Ukraine's initial cooperation with Washington has been "good."

Last year, the United States accused Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma of approving sales of Kolchuga radar systems to Iraq. He denied the charge.


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