Russia in 300-million-dollar missile deal with Syria: report

By on Monday, September 20th, 2010

Moscow: Russia plans to supply Syria with around 72 P-800 Yakhont cruise missiles in a deal worth at least 300 million dollars, a source in Russia’s arms industry told the Interfax news agency Sunday.

“Damascus is counting on receiving no less than two Bastion coastal defence systems. Since each system can include up to 36 Yakhont missiles, it is an order of a significant size,” the source told Interfax.

Russia will receive at least 300 million dollars for the defence systems, Interfax cited the source as saying.

Earlier this week, Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov confirmed to journalists that Russia would fulfil a 2007 contract to supply Yakhont cruise missiles to Syria, despite opposition from the United States and Israel.

Speaking in Washington on Thursday while on a visit to the Pentagon, Serdyukov said, “We will supply Yakhont to Syria, we will fulfil the contract.”

Russia’s arms sales and possible nuclear cooperation with Syria, which has close ties to Iran, is unnerving for the United States and Israel, which fear that they could be transferred to the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

Serdyukov said that Russia did not see a basis for these concerns.

“The US and Israel ask us not to supply Syria with Yakhont. But we do not see the concerns expressed by them that these arms will fall into the hands of terrorists,” he said.

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