Shipment of Missile Defense Systems to Syria Postponed

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Global Security Newswire Staff
Aug. 12, 2013, 8:02 a.m.

A ship­ment of S-300 mis­sile de­fense sys­tems that Syr­ia con­trac­ted from Rus­sia in 2011 will not be de­livered in the spring, but will in­stead be delayed un­til June 2014, ac­cord­ing to the Rus­si­an news­pa­per Vedo­mosti Busi­ness Daily.

A re­port from the com­pany that builds the S-300 sys­tem was cited by the news­pa­per on Fri­day, of­fi­cially con­firm­ing re­ports from May that the sys­tems would not be de­livered un­til 2014.  

The news­pa­per also re­por­ted that Rus­sia has already re­ceived “hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars” in pay­ment for the four state-of-the-art de­fense sys­tems, which are able to in­ter­cept both bal­list­ic mis­siles and air­planes, and has fin­ished pro­du­cing the first, un­shipped de­liv­ery. Pro­duc­tion of the second ship­ment is post­poned as well.

Rus­si­an Pres­id­ent Vladi­mir Putin in June ac­know­ledged the con­tract for the mis­sile de­fense sys­tems but said that the ship­ment had been delayed be­cause of fears of al­ter­ing “the power bal­ance in the re­gion.”

Both Jer­u­s­alem and Wash­ing­ton have pres­sured Rus­sia to not ex­port the S-300 sys­tems. Vedo­mosti re­por­ted that the sys­tems could be used if West­ern powers be­come more dir­ectly in­volved in the con­flict by seek­ing to es­tab­lish a no-fly zone over Syr­ia in a man­ner sim­il­ar to the no-fly zone that was placed over Libya in 2011.