Russia to supply missiles to Syria

Air-defense systems, valued at $250 million, will also be delivered by Moscow to Libya, Egypt, Venezuela.

S-125 248.88 (photo credit: Courtesy )
S-125 248.88
(photo credit: Courtesy )
Russia plans to supply air-defense missile systems valued at $250 million to seven countries including Syria, Libya and Venezuela, Vedomosti reported, citing an unidentified Russian Technologies Corp official. The Moscow-based newspaper reported that Russia had started fulfilling orders of 200 S-125 systems that were due to be delivered during the next three years. Russia will ship about 70 missile systems to Egypt, and will also supply Myanmar, Vietnam and Turkmenistan with the systems, the paper said. On Monday, US officials said that they wanted answers from Russia about whether it was selling advanced surface-to-air missiles to Iran. A senior military intelligence official said that while Moscow has sent out conflicting responses to reports on sales of long-range S-300 missiles, the United States believes they are occurring. Russia's state arms export agency said Monday it was supplying Iran with defensive weapons, including surface-to-air missiles, but did not say whether they include sophisticated long-range S-300 missiles. A day earlier Israeli officials categorically denied Iranian press reports that Russia would soon begin delivery of the state-of-the-art anti-missile system that could make it considerably harder to attack the Islamic republic's nuclear facilities. Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Israel had been assured by senior Russian officials that these reports were "baseless," and that the Kremlin stood by the agreement, reached with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert during his visit there in October, not to sell weapons in the region that would "tip the strategic balance." Herb Keinon, Yaakov Katz, AP and Bloomberg contributed to this report.