Despite Israeli protests, Russia won't halt arms sale to Syria
Despite Israel's objections, Russia will not cancel its sale of advanced missiles to Syria, the Kremlin announced on Sunday.
Haaretz reported on Friday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had asked his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to cancel the sale of long-range surface-to-sea cruise missiles to the Syrian Army.
Following the Haaretz report, Sergei Prikhodko, a senior adviser to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, told the state-run Russian news agency RIA Novosti that Moscow would fulfill all agreements it had made with foreign countries and would not halt the deal.
"Lately, some Israeli media outlets have been actively disseminating information distorting Russia's position on the implementation of its obligations to Syria, including in the sphere of military and technical cooperation," Prikhodko said. "I would like to stress that the Russian Federation honors all the agreements that were previously signed between Russia and Syria."
The agreement in question is for P-800 Yakhont missiles, a highly accurate Russian weapon with a 300-kilometer range capable of carrying a warhead of up to 200 kilograms.
Israel is concerned the projectiles could significantly improve the Syrian military's ability to target its naval ships. The Chinese-made C-802 missile Syria currently has is less accurate, has a range of just 102 kilometers and can carry a warhead of no more than 150 kilograms.
Jerusalem also fears the more advanced missiles could fall into the hands of Hezbollah, the Syrian- and Iranian-supported Lebanese militia, which would create a significant threat to naval ships in Israeli ports and the Mediterranean Sea.