Russia's official arms exporter proud to supply missiles to Syria
Published: June 17, 2012 - 3:00AM
''I would like to say these mechanisms are really a good means of defence, a reliable defence against attacks from the air or sea,'' said Anatoly Isaykin, the general director of Rosoboronexport. ''This is not a threat but whoever is planning an attack should think about this.''THE chief of Russia's state-controlled arms exporter has announced his company is shipping advanced defensive missile systems to Syria that could be used to shoot down planes or sink ships if the US or other Western nations intervene there.
As the weapons systems are not considered cutting-edge, Mr Isaykin's disclosures carried greater symbolic import than military significance. They contributed to a Cold War-style chill that has been settling over relations between Washington and Moscow before the first meeting between the US President, Barack Obama, and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit meeting in Mexico this week.
Mr Isaykin was speaking days after the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, raised diplomatic pressure on Russia by criticising the Kremlin for sending attack helicopters to Syria, and amid reports Moscow was sending an amphibious landing vessel and a small company of marines to the Syrian port of Tartus to provide security for military installations and infrastructure.
The New York Times
This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/world/russias-official-arms-exporter-proud-to-supply-missiles-to-syria-20120616-20go8.html