Lawmakers: Despite calls for sanctions over Ukraine, Britain still exporting arms to Russia

LONDON – British lawmakers say the country is still exporting arms and military equipment to Russia, despite the government’s call for tough sanctions over Moscow’s arming of separatist rebels in Ukraine.

A group of legislators that oversees arms export controls said Wednesday there are 251 export licenses in place for sale of goods worth at least 132 million pounds ($225 million) to Russia.

The licenses cover sniper rifles, night sights, small arms ammunition, gun mountings, body armour, military communications equipment, and “equipment employing cryptography.”

Britain has been the most vocal European advocate of tougher sanctions on Russia since the downing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet. Western governments believe rebels shot down the plane with a Russian-made missile.

The British government said most of the exported material was for “commercial use.”