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Russia says approach to non-proliferation grows politicized

MOSCOW, June 30 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's defense minister said Friday that some countries were taking an increasingly politicized approach to non-proliferation issues.

"In recent years, we have witnessed increasingly politicized approaches to the fight against the proliferation of WMD demonstrated by some countries," said Sergei Ivanov, who is also a deputy prime minister.

Ivanov criticized the slow coordination of non-proliferation issues at international forums, referring to prolonged discussions on an agreement on the non-militarization of outer space and unsuccessful attempts to create a verification mechanism for the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.

He said some countries had used control arrangements as a tool in competition for arms markets and criticized sanctions against Russian enterprises suspected of illegal links to countries seeking to have nuclear technology.

The United States has imposed sanctions on Russian companies for cooperation with Iran several times, including in 2003. Russia repeatedly insisted their cooperation with Iran was in the civilian sphere and said European and American firms were also cooperating with the Islamic Republic in sensitive areas but faced no sanctions.

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