'Russians won’t retract anti-ship missile sale to Syria'

Kremlim tells PM sale is a "done deal"; source says Russians believe 20 Yakhnot missiles will not tip Israel's strategic balance.

March 25, 2011 03:54
Netanyahu looks at a missile found on 'Victoria'

netanyahu anti-ship missile_311. (photo credit: Avi Ohayon / GPO)


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The Russian sale of Yakhnot anti-ship cruise missiles to Syria is a “done deal,” and Moscow has no intention of scuttling it, the Kremlin told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Moscow on Thursday, according to a senior Israeli diplomatic source.

According to the source, the Russians said that from their point of view, Israel enjoyed a clear qualitative military superiority in the region, and the sale of 20 of the missiles to Damascus would not tip the strategic balance.

The missile deal was signed some two years ago, and ever since then Israel – to no avail – has turned to numerous officials in Russia in an effort to cancel the deal.

Israel is concerned that the missile could end up in Hezbollah’s hands, and that in the Mediterranean Sea the Yakhnot is an offensive weapon.

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