A Ukrainian firm supplied China and Iran with six long-range cruise missiles in 2000-2001, Russia's defense minister said Friday, RIA Novosti reported.

Sergei Ivanov, who is also a deputy prime minister, said Ukraine's Progress firm had supplied six Soviet Kh-55 Granat missiles (NATO reporting name AS-15 Kent) with nuclear capacity to China and another six missiles to Iran, adding that the authorities had been informed and an investigation started.

"This is the grossest violation of the control regime over missile technologies," Ivanov said.

Ivanov said the deal had been conducted via a Cyprus-based company. He said the name of the company and the value of the deal were known, but declined to elaborate further.

Ivanov said it was the sole violation of the non-proliferation regime in the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States.

"Russia has been working to coordinate efforts in the non-proliferation sphere with its CIS partners and within the CSTO [the regional Collective Security Treaty Organization]," the minister said.


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