Russia will fulfill defense contracts with Syria
Anatoly Isaikin, the Director of Rosoboronexport, the state arms trader, said his company will continue to do business with Syria where a civil war has been raging for almost two years.
Isaikin rejected Western criticism of Russian arms sales to the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, saying that his company has only delivered defensive weapons.He also emphasized that such trade is not prohibited by the United Nations. “We are continuing to carry out our obligations under contracts for supplies of military hardware. But this hardware is not offensive," Isaikin said. Meanwhile, he called "complete nonsense" reports Russia has allegedly supplied to Syria the Iskander tactical missile systems. "We have not supplied any Iskander systems to Syria, and we have no contracts on their supply," he affirmed. Russia remains at loggerheads with the West over how to address the violence that has rocked Syria for over 22 months, as government forces loyal to Assad attempt to repulse militant rebels. Moscow adheres to the Geneva Communique, which calls for both sides of the conflict to honor a ceasefire and enter into negotiations.The United States, meanwhile, has sided with the rebels, who refuse to discuss a future government that involves current government officials. In November, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev explained in an interview with French media Russia’s position on arms delivery to Syria.“We have never supplied anything to the current government that doesn’t conform to international conventions; what we have supplied are weapons intended for defense against an outside aggression,” Medvedev said. “We have contracts that must be honored.”Robert Bridge, RT