Institutions Suspected by the Russian Government of Violating Export Control Legislation – The 1998 Moscow Summit

Scott Parrish
Fred Wehling
August 26, 1998

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On 15 July 1998, the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS released a report that the Russian Government Commission on Export Control, chaired by Minister of the Economy Yakov Urinson, had examined accusations of export control violations by a number of Russian companies and institutions which had attempted to illegally export dual-use commodities connected with weapons of mass destruction and missile systems for their delivery. A source in the commission told ITAR-TASS that as a result of this examination, the commission had decided to conduct further “special investigations” of nine companies and institutions, which could lead to “administrative, and in certain cases, criminal charges.” The source named these companies: Glavkosmos; the INOR Scientific Production Center; the Grafit State Scientific Research Institute; the Polyus Scientific Research Institute; the Tikhomirov Instrument-Building State Research Institute; the Komintern Plant; the “MOSO” company; Evropalas 2000; and the Baltic State Technical University. The Clinton administration hailed the Russian announcement, and declared that it would immediately suspend any US government program or assistance to these nine companies and institutions and would “proceed expeditiously to impose trade restrictions on them.” Clinton Administration spokesman Michael McCurry said that the transactions under investigation by the Russian government had involved Iran, North Korea, and Libya. Several of the companies under investigation had been repeatedly charged in Western media reports during 1997 and 1998 with providing technical assistance to Iran’s ballistic missile program.

View the Table of Suspected Violations

On 28 July 1998, President Clinton announced that the United States had imposed economic sanctions against seven of the nine firms under investigation by the Russian government. The companies that have been sanctioned are Glavkosmos, the INOR Scientific Production Center, the Grafit State Scientific Research Institute, the Polyus Scientific Research Institute, the “MOSO” company, Evropalas 2000, and the Baltic State Technical University. The US sanctions bar the seven companies from exporting or importing goods to the United States and also block them from receiving any US assistance. As of late August 1998, the Russian investigation was still pending, and no formal charges had yet been brought by Russian authorities against any of the nine companies. Critics of the Russian investigation have pointed out that a number of other firms that have been accused in both American and Israeli reports with assisting the Iranian missile program are not among the nine firms under investigation. These firms include the Russian Space Agency, the state-owned arms export firm Rosvooruzheniye, the Bauman State Technical University, the Central Aerohydrodynamics Institute (TsAGI), and NPO Trud.

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