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11 January 2012 - 23:02

The Russian government has announced it will not join proposed US and European sanctions against Iran's oil sector which aim to prevent the country's crude exports.

The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted by Reuters as saying on Wednesday that Moscow opposes US and European oil sanctions against Iran, even if Tehran presses ahead with its nuclear program, including uranium enrichment.

"Regardless of any conditions…be those the conditions in which the Iranian nuclear program expands or others, we are against the application of such measures against Iran," he added.

The Russian deputy foreign minister further noted that new sanctions will do nothing to strengthen nuclear non-proliferation.

Moscow's new announcement comes after the signing of a new law by US President Barack Obama on December 31, 2011, which seeks to impose fresh economic sanctions against Iran's Central Bank and oil sector. The law requires foreign financial firms to make a choice between doing business with Iran's Central Bank and oil sector or with the US financial sector.

The European Union (EU) is also expected to hold its summit meeting later this month on January 23, to discuss proposed embargo on Iran's oil exports.

EU members have so far failed to reach a final agreement on such details as the exact timing of the sanctions and their diplomats say it may take months before sanctions actually enter into force given the critical economic conditions facing European countries.

News ID 181364