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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U. S. Military Firm Backs High-Tech Export Ban

The United State's refusal to lift restrictions on exports of high technology to Russia was not a case of trade protectionism but a security measure to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction, the president of a leading U. S. military supplier said Tuesday.

Russian politicians, including Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Shokhin, have complained that the export restrictions known as COCOM, introduced during the Cold War, are stopping Russia from competing in the space, arms and communications industries.

But Donald Rice, president of Teledyne Inc. , a leading U. S. high technology firm that supplies systems for missiles and attack helicopters to the U. S. military, said that restrictions had been eased but they would not disappear.

"It's not protectionist in a trade sense. It's a security question", Rice said.

He said Russia would continue to face restrictions until they agreed not to sell technologies that contribute to chemical and nuclear weapons to the Third World. "Russia may have to make a choice".

Western nations do not want Russia re-exporting their advanced technology or using it to improve weapons sold to Third World nations.

Russia was formerly a major supplier of arms to Iraq and Libya. Russia has announced plans to sell arms to countries such as Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa.

Rice was in Moscow on Tuesday to open an exhibition of Teledyne products. He said that none of the product areas which Teledyne was exhibiting were covered by COCOM restrictions.

U. S. businesses like Teledyne, he said, had nothing to gain from the continuation of COCOM and many were missing out on significant orders.

COCOM restrictions, which affect not only the United States but other Western nations, once covered almost all advanced technologies but have been gradually relaxed.

Since late last year, Russia has been allowed to import virtually all personal-computer level technology, Rice said.

Rice said that apart from selling to Russian industries, Teledyne had started joint projects with former Russian defense factories converting to civilian business.