Russia may supply its S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile systems to Syria on a free-of-charge basis within the framework of military assistance to the Arab country, according to the Russian newspaper Kommersant.
The newspaper has cited diplomatic and military sources as saying that the issue of supplying the air defense systems to Syria "has practically been resolved."
S-300 components, such as radar stations, transport-loading machines, control points, and launchers, will be delivered to Syria either by military transport planes or Russian naval ships. If delivered, the S-300 is expected to become part of the Syrian air defense system, which currently includes the predominantly Soviet-made S-125, S-200, Buk, Kvadrat and Osa missile systems.
The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, has stated that the issue of Russia's supplies of S-300 air defense systems hasn't been decided upon yet. He added that Russian President Vladimir Putin had discussed the issue with the Defense Ministry in order to help avoid a situation, in which Syria was not prepared enough for "aggressive actions" like the massive airstrike conducted by the US, France, and the UK on April 14.
Vladimir Ermakov, the director of the department of nonproliferation and arms control of the Russian Foreign Ministry, said in a separate statement on Monday that there are no international treaties that could limit the supplies of defensive weapons from Russia to Syria.
[Source: Sputnik News]