Russia asks US to lift sanctions

December 19, 2003

Russia is to press the US to lift sanctions imposed on its universities and research centres for allegedly cooperating with Iran's nuclear programme.

Of the 12 institutions that the US originally accused, eight are still subject to sanctions, according to Russian security council deputy chairman Oleg Chernov.

He said these included some of the most prestigious institutions in Russia, including the Moscow Aviation Institute, the Baltic State Technical University in St Petersburg and the Mendeleyev University of Chemical Technology.

Research institutes blacklisted include the Glavkosmos Institute attached to the Russian space agency and two that - judging from their locations - appear to have started out as secret military establishments.

The institutions are barred from joint programmes and exchanges that in cash-strapped Russia can prove vital for the continuation of scholarly activity.

Russia has never denied that it has assisted the Iranian nuclear programme.

It has consistently maintained, however, that the whole programme - and the Russian input in particular - has been and remains purely peaceful.

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