Lavrov: U.S. Sanctions On Iran, Syria Harming Russian Business

Via Ynetnews: Russia already lost $4 billion due to the loss of arms contracts with Libya as a result of the UN’s arms shipments embargo.

Now U.S. sanctions on Syria and Iran are harming Russian business interests, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday.

“Unilateral US sanctions against Syria and Iran are increasingly becoming extra-territorial in nature and are touching upon the interests of Russian business”, Lavrov said after meeting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Lavrov said Russian banks were being affected in particular.

The United States has imposed wide-ranging financial sanctions against the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program in an attempt to starve Tehran of revenue, and pressed other countries to cut their imports of Iranian oil.

Washington has also frozen the assets of more than 100 members of the Syrian regime and barred U.S. firms from doing business with them. It has also slapped sanctions on the Syrian state oil firm Sytrol last month.

Russia has been staunchly opposed to sanctions against Syria, and has vetoed several UN Security Council resolutions targeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“In Syria we are not supporting any sanctions because sanctions will not bring about anything”, Lavrov told reporters on the sidelines of the annual APEC summit that Russia is hosting in the port city of Vladivostok.

Clinton has said during the conference that the U.S. Congress may move this month to upgrade trade relations with Russia, a key part of the Obama administration’s effort to bolster sometimes strained ties with Moscow and open the Russian market to more U.S. companies.

Clinton said on Saturday the Obama administration was working closely with Congress on lifting the 1974 Jackson-Vanik amendment, a Cold War-era legislation which has blocked normal trade privileges for Russia.

“To make sure our companies get to compete here in Russia, we are working closely with the United States congress to terminate the application to Jackson-Vanik to Russia and grant Russia permanent normalized trade relations”, Clinton said.

Clinton added: “We hope that the Congress will act on this important piece of legislation this month”.

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