'Israel persuaded Russia not to sell Syria missiles'

Barak says J'lem influenced cancellation of sale of S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Damascus worth around $100m.

By JPOST.COM STAFF,
June 28, 2012 09:58
Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile system

Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile system 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Israel played a role in influencing Russia to cancel its sale of the S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Syria, Army Radio quoted Defense Minister Ehud Barak as saying Thursday.

Russia suspended the sale of the advanced system to Syria in what could be an outcome of President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Israel earlier this week. Both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres discussed the issue of Syria with the Russian leader during his short stay in Israel.

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One of the most advanced multi-target anti-aircraft missile systems in the world, the S-300 has a reported ability to track up to 100 targets simultaneously while engaging up to 12 at the same time. The estimated worth of the deal was $100 million.

Russia signed a similar deal to sell the S-300 to Iran in 2007 but canceled it in 2010 due to United Nations arms embargo that had been imposed on the Islamic Republic.

In recent years, Israel has invested significant diplomatic clout in convincing Moscow to suspend the delivery to Iran and a 2010 deal to sell Russia Israeli-made drones was reportedly done to stop the delivery.

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