June 20, 2013
Russia to deliver advanced missile system to Syria as planned
Russia’s foreign minister said his country will honor an agreement to provide the S-300 advanced air defense missile system to Syria.
Sergey Lavrov on Thursday told Russian State TV that Russia will “honor all our contractual obligations.” He confirmed that the contract with Russia has “not been delivered in full,” according to The Associated Press.
Possession of S-300 missiles would significantly boost Syria’s ability to stave off intervention in its ongoing two-year civil war, in which at least 93,000 people reportedly have been killed.
Information provided to Washington by Israel showed that Syria has been making payments on a 2010 agreement with Moscow to buy four S-300 batteries for $900 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. The paper said the package included six launchers and 144 operational missiles, each with a range of 200 miles, with an initial shipment expected over the summer.
Western nations repeatedly have urged Russia to block the sale, which they argue could complicate any international intervention in the escalating civil war.
Russia until now has heeded U.S. and Israeli requests to delay delivery of the S-300 systems.