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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Envoy Seeks Sanctions for Selling Tbilisi Arms

Russia’s envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, said Friday that Moscow would slap sanctions against U.S. companies if they supply military hardware to the Georgian army.

“We have a presidential decree that would introduce sanctions against those foreign companies that would continue to arm Georgia,” Rogozin said on Ekho Moskvy radio.

The decree makes no exceptions, and if it is proven that any arms supplier — “be it in Antarctica or in America” — delivers offensive weapons to Georgia, then it will face sanctions under the decree, Rogozin said.

His remarks, however, contradicted the decree issued in January by President Dmitry Medvedev, which bans Russian legal entities from supplying arms to Georgia.

On Thursday, the Foreign Ministry threatened that Moscow would sever its arms trade with any states that export Russian-made weapons to Georgia, which had a military conflict with Russia last August.

The ministry’s warning coincided with a visit to Georgia by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. U.S. officials denied after his talks with the Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili that possible deliveries of U.S. arms to Georgia had been discussed there.