Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has denied reports that Moscow will supply Syria with S-300 antiaircraft defense systems “soon” after a senior Russian official warned Israel that it would “suffer catastrophic consequences” if it attacks the systems.TASS News Agency quoted Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on Monday Moscow had not yet decided whether it would deliver the advanced systems to Syria, but it would not be a secret if it took such a decision.
“We know what President Vladimir Putin said,” he said. “He has discussed such matters with an official of our Defense Ministry from the standpoint of preventing a situation where Syria might turn out insufficiently prepared for aggressive attacks, like the one that occurred on April 14. It remains to be seen what decisions will be made by the Russian leadership and Syrian officials.”According to Lavrov, Moscow has warned the US and Europe of carrying out additional strikes in Syria, but “certainly, one should be prepared to see more provocations.”According to a report in Russia’s Kommersant newspaper, the system will be supplied to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad for no cost and will likely be brought into the country via transport aircraft or Russian Navy ships to be deployed to cover Damascus and the regime’s airfields.
The report said while Moscow believes such a move would stabilize the situation in the war-torn country,“experts believe that the reaction of the Israeli military to such a move will be predictably negative and do not exclude attacks on their locations.”“If Israel decides to carry out rocket strikes on the deployment locations of the S-300, the consequences will be catastrophic for all sides,” Russian defense officials told the paper.
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