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Former U.S. Congressman Dealing Russian Arms to Libya and Iraq

chemezov070408.jpgWired.com has broken the salacious story of the former U.S. Congressman Curt Weldon, who is currently under investigation by the FBI for attempting to broker several deals between Russia’s state-owned arms exporter, Rosoboronexport, and the governments of Libya and Iraq. It appears that the Russians were eagerly seeking a middleman to move these weapons to states in ambiguous standing with the international community:

Weldon did not respond to e-mails and phone requests to be interviewed or comment for this article. But in a 2006 interview, before the FBI probe was public, Weldon spoke enthusiastically about setting up a “front company” to work with the Russian arms agency, Rosoboronexport. Weldon hoped this company could sell weapons to the Middle East, and other regions, particularly to countries where the U.S. has strained relations. He claimed the director of Rosoboronexport approached him to work with “an American company that would act as a front for weapons these nations want to buy.” Weldon called the proposal an “unbelievable offer.”

Hot stuff. Yet another example of how the Americans simply cannot claim to be any kind of moral authority in discussions with Russia. Read the rest here. (Photo: Sergei Chemezov, CEO of Rosoboronexport, and quietly one of Russia’s most powerful siloviki)