Helicopters first of all: why the United States punished Rosoboronexport

Rosoboronexport, which supplied helicopters on the US request in the last year, ended up in the black list of the State Department. RBC investigated, what was the reason to punish the state arms exporter.
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The State Department is not the Ministry of Finance

State exporter "Rosoboronexport" arms hit the black list of the US State Department (along with the corporation "MiG", the Tula Instrument Design Bureau, a manufacturer of optical "cathode" of equipment and military-industrial Corporation "NPO Machine Building"). Russian companies are punished under the Law on Non-Proliferation of [weapons of mass destruction] against Iran, Syria and North Korea (INKSNA): according to the State Department, they delivered in some of these countries weapons runs counter to the objectives of non-proliferation regime. What is the supply and when they were made, not in the message department said (these details are contained in the secret report submitted to the Congress).

Punishment rather symbolic: the company will not be able to sell their products and services to US government agencies, but they did not do so. In recent years, only the "Rosoboronexport" has been admitted to federal weapons US government contracts (until October 2014 the company has supplied helicopters to Afghanistan commissioned Pentagoas well), but the contracts were marred by claims of the American Board of Auditors and the background of Ukrainian events greatly irritated Congress. Therefore, the State Department sanctions are unlikely to affect the business of "Rosoboronexport" and four other Russian companies. These sanctions - "rather political history than the production", - said a spokesman for the corporation "MiG" Anastasiya Kravchenko (by Tass quoted).

In addition, new restrictions on the line of the State Department - is not the same as the US sanctions the Ministry of Finance in the form of frozen assets and the actual isolation from the US financial system. Getting out of the black list of the Ministry of Finance is almost impossible, while the State Department INKSNA law sanctions will expire after two years unless the Secretary of State will be extended. Sam "Rosoboronexport" has already got under such restrictions in 2006 for the supply of "sensitive" goods to Syria and Iran, but in 2010 the sanctions were taken against the background of the "reset" between the Kremlin and Washington and a few days after Russia agreed to support About a fourth round of sanctionsH against Iran.

The contract for a billion

From the beginning, Ukrainian conflict in March 2014, "Rosoboronexport", selling weapons to the $ 13 billion a year, was named among the main targets of US economic sanctions, but always avoiding blacklists. In April 2014, Senator Bob Corker introduced a bill calling on the US President to block the "Rosoboronexport" assets. The reason why the company has remained outside the sanctions lists, was a contract between "Rosoboronexport" and the US Army for the delivery of 63 Mi-17 helicopters for the Afghan National Army. The close ties with the US "Rosoboronexport" complicate the task of the White House to punish Russia for its annexation of Crimea, the newspaper The Wall Street Journal citing current and former US officials. In July 2014, when the US Treasury blacklisted such weapons companies as "Kalashnikov", "Almaz-Antey" and "Uralvagonzavod", but not "Rosoboronexport", we heard speculation that the "Rosoboronexport" has not been included in the list by the request of the State Department and Pentagona.

Since 2011, when the US Department of Defense has ordered the "Rosoboronexport" the first batch of helicopters, the company received a contract for US $ 1.12 billion, to be from the database on the public procurement website USAspending.gov. Deliveries were completed in October 2014, a total of 63 helicopter production Kazan Helicopter Plant ( "Russian Helicopters") was delivered to Afghanistan. The US military justified their choice by the fact that the Mi-17 is optimally suited to the Afghan Air Force due to the high wear resistance of the machine and a good experience in the Afghan administration and operation is of Russian helicopters.

The Pentagon has defended to the end of its decision, initially to raise questions and criticism from the Congress of the American gun lobby, and used questionable legal loopholes that the contract has not been blocked. In 2013, Congress adopted an amendment to the defense budget, which prohibited arms deals with the "Rosoboronexport", but the US Department of Defense, after some delay, still gave the Russian exporter to the contract for the supply of 30 helicopters for $ 554 million, referring to the fact Thuof uses for this purpose money from the budget for the previous year. In March 2014, five members of Congress have asked the Minister of Defence to terminate the contract with the "Rosoboronexport" on the basis of Obama's decree for introducing sanctions against those of the arms industry in Russia, but Pentagon officials have made it clear that the deal can only be canceled on the basis of contractual provisions for cancellation, and sanctions are not mentioned in those provisions.

As Rosoboronexport collaborated with Syria and Iran

For Syria and Iran

The Russian Foreign Ministry reacted emotionally to the inclusion of Russian arms companies in the State Department list, calling it "illegitimate restriction", "another element in a series of hostile actions taken by the United States against Russia in recent years." The decision was taken on August 21 State Department said in a notice published in the Official Gazette (Federal Register) on September 2. The competent authorities in Russia were notified of the decision prior to its entry into force, said RBC's press attache of the US Embassy in Moscow Will SteveJens. Sanctions were imposed on the company, "based on reliable information that they were involved in the transfer to Iran, North Korea or Syria or acquisition in these countries of goods, services or technology listed in the multilateral register for export controls, national registers of US export control, or other articles, which could make a significant contribution to the development of weapons of mass destruction or missile proliferation, "said Stevens, refused to disclose the specific transaction.

INKSNA law allows to impose sanctions including conventional arms. In mid-August, the Turkish news agency BGN News reported that Russia has supplied Syria six fighters "MiG-31" under the contract of 2007 ( "Rosoboronexport" has not confirmed the information on the supply and on Wednesday declined to comment), and the State Department spokesman, John Kirby, August 18 repeated that the United States objected to the delivery of S-300 complexes to Iran (Russian President Vladimir Putin has lifted a ban on the transfer of these systems to Iran in April this year). In 2008, when the State Department renewed the sanctions against"Rosoboronexport" for another two years, the US government justifies this by the fact that "Rosoboronexport" has transferred to Iran anti-aircraft missile, "Tor-M1" system, it should be from a secret diplomatic dispatches, dated October 2008 and posted on WikiLeaks.

The planned transfer of the S-300 to Iran and unconfirmed supply fighter jets to Syria could become a pretext for the introduction of "Rosoboronexport" in the black list, but not a formal basis. The fact that the Department of State may impose sanctions on foreign companies INKSNA law only after the submission of a special report to Congress outlining the transactions that are contrary to the non-proliferation regime. The law requires the State Department to prepare such reports at intervals of six months, but because of the need to carefully check the information on the transactions and employees strong load Office catastrophically behind schedule, entered into the Accounts Chamber of the United States (GAO) in June 2015. The latest report by the law INKSNA State Department sent to Congress in December 2014, and the document is covered only unlawful transactions in 2011. As anSpruce 2015 report on violations, which the State Department became known in 2012, was still in the preparation stage (at the same time preparing the corresponding report for 2013). So, "Rosoboronexport" could be punished for delivery to Syria and Iran, which relate to 2012, as a last resort by 2013. For example, in September 2013, Putin informed that Russia has supplied Syria individual components of the S-300, but the delivery is not complete.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), in 2011, Russia delivered to Syria-propelled anti-aircraft missile systems "Buk-M2E" and coastal missile complexes "Bastion-P". In 2009-2013, the share of Russian arms accounted for 81% of the Syrian weapons imports, estimates SIPRI.