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Russia does not supply arms to Syria that can be used in internal conflict

July 12, 2012, 0:43 UTC+3
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia supplied only air defence systems to Syria for protection from external attacks
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MOSCOW, July 12 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia does not supply arms to Syria that can be used in its internal conflict, presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said.

“We do not supply weapons that could be used in the internal conflict,” he said on Wednesday, July 11. “We only supply what is not banned,” he said, adding that these supplies are made under contracts signed a long time ago.

The aide considered his answer to the journalists’ questions exhaustive and declined to comment on reports claiming that Russia had allegedly supplied Yak-130 training planes to Syria.

Earlier such assertions were denied by the plane’s chief designer Konstantin Popovich and Deputy Head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Vyacheslav Dzirkaln.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia supplied only air defence systems to Syria for protection from external attacks.

“Under our contractual obligations, we supply air defence systems to the Syrian government in case Syria comes under external attack,” Lavrov said.

At the same time, he stressed that Russia “does not supply any arms to the government that could be used against peaceful people”.

“But some countries, particularly Persian Gulf countries, supply to Syria only weapons that can be used against its peaceful population. The Syrian opposition has been simply pumped with arms,” Lavrov said.

Under no circumstances can the arms that Russia supplies to Syria be used against the civilian population, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin earlier.

“Weapons do not shoot all by themselves. It is people who shoot from them. Unlike its partners, Russia has never tried to add oil to the flame,” Rogozin said.

He stressed that Russia has “strict requirements” concerning arms supplies.

“Under no circumstances can the arms supplied to Syria be used against the civilian population. We urge all sides to the Syrian conflict to drink water and calm down, and all those who wish to make a good hand of the conflict to stop supplying arms to rebels,” Rogozin said.

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