Lavrov on Russia's S-300 Supplies to Syria : " It's No Secret "
He added that Russian President Vladimir Putin had discussed the issue with the Defense Ministry in order to help avoid a situation, in which Syria was not prepared enough for “aggressive actions” like the massive airstrike conducted by the US, France and the UK on April 14.
“What decisions will be taken by the leadership of Russia together with the representatives of Syria have yet to be determined; there is no secret here,” Lavrov said.
In his turn, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has refused to comment on the possibility of S-300 surface-to-air missile systems supply to Syria.
“I will only remind you once again of the statement made by [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin after a missile strike was delivered on a sovereign country in violation of the foundations of international law,” Peskov told reporters when asked about the growing complexity of the international situation and Russia’s relations with other countries in connection with the possible supply of S-300 systems to Syria.
Earlier in the day, Kommersant newspaper reported that Russia may supply its S-300 long range surface-to-air missile systems to Syria on a free-of-charge basis, within the framework of military assistance to the Arab country.
The newspaper has cited diplomatic and military sources as saying that the issue of supplying the S-300 Russian long range surface-to-air missile systems to Syria “has practically been resolved.”
The supplies will be conducted within the framework of rendering military and tech assistance to Damascus which the sources said “has no money” to pay for the deliveries.
S-300 components, such as radar stations, transport-loading machines, control points and launchers, will be delivered to Syria either by military transport planes or Russian naval ships.
If delivered, the S-300 is expected to become part of the Syrian air defense system, which currently includes the predominantly Soviet-made S-125, S-200, Buk, Kvadrat and Osa missile systems.
Russian President’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov has, meanwhile, declined to comment on whether Moscow will supply the S-300 systems to Syria, stressing that last week’s Western missile strike on Syria “had further deteriorated situation around the Syrian settlement.”
Late last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Sputnik that Moscow was no longer bound by a moral duty not to supply the S-300 systems to Damascus after recent Western missile strikes on Syria.
Earlier, in an interview with the BBC, Lavrov said that Moscow was ready to consider any means to help the Syrian army curb further aggression even though “several years ago we [Russia] decided not to supply S-300 systems to Syria at our partners’ request.”