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Moscow threatens to speed missiles to Syria but also offers to delay
Reuters ^ | Fri May 31, 2013 12:53pm EDT | By Thomas Grove MOSCOW

Posted on 06/03/2013 12:09:27 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

(Reuters) - Russia could speed up delivery of anti-aircraft missiles to Syria if the West intervenes, but also floated the idea of suspending the shipment, Russian media reported on Friday, as Moscow set out its negotiating position ahead of peace talks.

A Russian arms industry source was quoted by Interfax news agency as threatening to hasten delivery of the hotly-contested S-300 missiles if the West were to impose a no-fly zone or Israel were to launch new air strikes.

However the source also "did not exclude that the delivery of the S-300 to Syria could be frozen for a period of time" Interfax reported, comparing the move to the delivery of another weapons system that was suspended by Moscow.

Russia's arms industry is firmly controlled by the state, and it is unlikely the unidentified source would be authorized to speak without the blessing of the Kremlin.

Russia and the West are staking out positions with parallel threats to arm the warring sides ahead of a peace conference next month, the first attempt in a year by the global powers on either side in Syria's civil war to look for a way to end it.

French President Francois Hollande said it was unacceptable for Moscow to talk about arming the Syrian government ahead of the conference, even as he repeated his own threats to arm the rebels fighting against President Bashar al-Assad.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle also criticized Russia for discussing arms sales to Assad.

Yuri Ushakov, President Vladimir Putin's foreign policy aide, said it was the EU's decision last week to lift its embargo on arming the rebels that was "not conducive to preparations for such an important international event" as the Geneva conference.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Israel; News/Current Events; Russia; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iran; jordan; lebanon; missiles; russia; s300; syria; turkey; waronterror; yakhont

1 posted on 06/03/2013 12:09:27 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Russia could ferry over some S300 systems to Syria in a few days using Antonov cargo jets.

They would probably have to be operated by Russians though.

2 posted on 06/03/2013 12:16:15 PM PDT by Bobalu (It is not obama we are fighting, it is the media.)
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To: Bobalu

And it might rain tomorrow but it might not!

3 posted on 06/03/2013 12:55:14 PM PDT by Conserev1 ("Still Clinging to my Bible and my Weapon")
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