You often run across vague references to letters received by Congress during its normal course of business to different committee chairmen.
A lot of these letters regard foreign owned and operated business entities.
Such was the case on December 26, 2013 when I visited a section of the Congressional Record listing “Executive Communications” section.
One letter in particular caught my eye.
It involved a Russian owned business with direct ties to the Russian Defense Industry.
Specifically section 4345.
The “blip” read as follows:
4345. A letter from the Chairman and President, Export-Import Bank, transmitting a report on transactions involving U.S. exports to VEB Leasing JSC of Moscow, Russia; to the Committee on Financial Services.
According to VEB Leasing JSC of Moscow website – the company has major ties to the Russian defense industry.
The company was established at the initiative and with the participation of Rosoboronexport with the objective of raising product competitiveness of defense industry and civil engineering enterprises and facilitating their modernization. The principal shareholder of VEB-Leasing JSC is State Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs (Vnesheconombank).
Many of you may remember Rosoboronexport as the Russian Defense manufacture of arms and is the main weapons supplier to Syria, including the delivery of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles (source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22734537).
In August 4, 2006, the Bush administration imposed sanctions on Rosoboronexport accusing it of supplying Iran in violation of the United States Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000.
Rosoboronexport is also ranked among the leading operators in the international arms market. In fact Rosoboronexport was prohibited from doing business with the United States Federal Government from 2008 until 2010, when the U.S. lifted such sanctions in response to Russian support for a UN resolution concerning Iran’s nuclear program (source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-08/russian-trader-rosoboronexport-bids-to-sell-ammunition-to-u-s-.html).
Specific reference to the Russian military on the VEB website include development of the multi purpose fighter Su-30SM and short range aircraft Ms-21, and Yak-130.
“Scientific and production corporation Irkut JSC (member of UAC) is one of the leaders of the Russian aircraft industry. Over the past 10 years, the company has more than tripled its revenue. The company’s product line-up includes the multi-purpose fighter Su-30SM, supplied to the Ministry of Defense, the export versions of the Su-30MK fighter, and the new generation of the combat and training aircraft Yak-130, which are successfully used both in the Russian Air Force and abroad. In its role as the chief executor, the Corporation is actively working on the creation of a family of the short-medium range aircraft MS-21″ (source: http://veb-leasing.ru/en/?id_10=315).
According to a foreign press report dated in August 2013:
“The multi-purpose Su-30SM can be used in counter-air strikes, counter-land and counter-sea missions. It can conduct electronic counter-countermeasures and early warning tasks. The aircraft also acts as a command-and-control platform within a fleet of combat aircraft performing joint missions.
The Russian Defense Ministry and Irkut, a subsidiary of the United Aircraft Corporation, have signed a supply contract for 30 Su-30SM fighter aircraft. “Under the contract, Irkut Corporation will build 30 planes of this type for Russia’s Ministry of Defense by 2015,” a Defense Ministry spokesman said.
The Su-30SM is capable of carrying an advanced weapons payload weighing up to eight tons. The aircraft can be armed with a machine gun, bombs, air-to-air missiles, and supersonic anti-ship and land attack missiles” (source: New Sokhoi 30-SM jet fighter http://en.itar-tass.com/russia/699244).
In my assessment the company VEB Leasing is a subsidiary (or front organization) of Rosoboronexport a major Russian arms manufacturer which continues to be a main supplier of weapons to Syria. Whether or not the Congressional committees receiving this letter previously mentioned in the Congressional Record are aware of this particular connection is unclear.
We decided to send the information on to the Defense Intelligence Agency Office of the Inspector general anyway, just in case they were unaware of existence of this letter or the connection between VEB Leasing and Rosoboronexport – so they can look for any possible violations of laws and regulations (contact: E-mail: IG_Hotline@dodiis.mil).