"I salute the Arms Control Association … for its keen vision of the goals ahead and for its many efforts to identify and to promote practical measures that are so vitally needed to achieve them."

– Amb. Nobuyasu Abe
Former UN Undersecretary General for Disarmament Affairs
January 28, 2004
Progress in Russia Prompts Sanctions Changes

Citing progress in Russia's enforcement of export controls, the Clinton administration announced April 24 that it was lifting sanctions against two Russian companies that had been accused of aiding Iranian missile programs. The administration had sanctioned INOR Scientific Center and Polyus Scientific Production Association (as well as five other Russian entities) in 1998 for their contributions to Iran's ballistic missile development program, but now maintains that the two firms have "ceased proliferant behavior," according to State Department spokesman James Rubin.

The administration also praised "Russia's commitment to stopping the flow of sensitive technologies to Iran," as demonstrated by its crackdown on the Baltic State Technical University (BSTU), which had also been cited in 1998 for training Iranian specialists in missile-related fields. According to Rubin, that training has stopped but sanctions remain in place, and the administration has now imposed sanctions on the university's rector, Yuri Saval'ev.

Responding to the developments, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said April 25, "The U.S. administration has finally appreciated progressive improvement of the national export control and strict compliance with international commitments in non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction." But the spokesman criticized the continued application of sanctions to BSTU as an "obvious attempt to call into question the efficiency of measures by the Russian authorities taken against the BSTU rector."