Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday that Moscow planned to go ahead with its shipment of S- 300 missiles to Syria, saying the deal had been sealed before the recent air strikes on Syria, reportedly carried out by Israel.
“Missile defense systems are delivered to protect the country that buys them from air strikes. But these contracts were signed long before air strikes on Syria were launched last year and now,” Lavrov said in an interview with Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen TV channel.
Moscow is honoring previous agreements and has not signed any new contracts with Damascus, he stressed.
“Those who do not plan aggressive actions against a sovereign state have nothing to worry about, because air defense methods – and this is clear from the name – are a purely defensive system required to repel air attacks,” Lavrov said.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reportedly urged Russian President Vladimir Putin in a summit in Sochi on Tuesday not to sell the state-of-the-art S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria.
Israeli officials declined to comment on Lavrov’s latest interview, which appeared to contradict a statement he made last week that Russia would not sell the S-300 advanced air defense system to Syria.