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Will the Deaths of Americans on MH17 Finally End $1B U.S. Relationship with Russian Arms Giant?


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The Russian arms giant that has been the target of so much consternation in Congress since President Obama lifted its sanctions in 2010 recently marketed to Malaysia the same missile system believed to have taken down a Malaysia Airlines flight over Ukraine today.


Lawmakers have been trying to block U.S. funds from lining the pockets of Rosoboronexport — Russia’s state-owned arms behemoth that has raked in more than $1 billion in Defense Department contracts since 2011. President George W. Bush had placed a ban on doing business with the firm in 2008.


At the mid-April Defence Services Asia Conference and Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur, Rosoboronexport pitched to government officials the same surface-to-air system, the Russian-made Buk, suspected to have been fired at Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 headed from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

“Our military technical cooperation with Malaysia has been developing rather dynamically on the mutually beneficial basis. It is fostered by successful operation of Russian-made equipment supplied earlier and our measures to improve after-sale services,” said Nikolai Dimidyuk, Rosoboronexport’s special project director and head of the delegation at the exhibition, in a statement at the time. “Good prospects are open for Russian air systems such as multi-role fighters and military transport helicopters in particular, air defense equipment, close combat weapons as well as littoral control systems and patrol vessels.”Scissors-32x32.png

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