Russia to sell arms to Syria, sales overall to rise

By REUTERS
August 17, 2011 19:21

 
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ZHUKOVSKY, Russia - Russia's top arms exporter said on Wednesday it intended to continue selling weapons to Syria, despite calls from the United States for Moscow to halt its weapons trade with Damascus.

Russia, the world's second largest arms exporter, wants to make up for $4 billion of contracts lost when the United Nations placed an arms embargo on Libya this year and is also looking to Africa, South America and Southeast Asia to compensate.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Russia last week to halt arms deliveries to Syria, one of the Russian defense industry's best clients, following the crackdown on protests against President Bashar Assad.

"There were deliveries of arms to Syria last year, and there will be deliveries this year. They will continue," Anatoly Isaykin, general director of Russia's top arms exporter Rosoboronexport, told a news conference at Russia's premiere airshow outside Moscow.

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