ASTANA, June 8 /TASS/. Russia delivered its S-300PS air defense missile systems to Kazakhstan free of charge with an aim to strengthen the unified regional air defense system, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said at a meeting with his Kazakhstani counterpart Imangali Tasmagambetov in Astana on Wednesday.
The Russian defense minister has arrived in Kazakhstan to participate in a conference of defense ministers of countries members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
"We are paying special attention to development of the Russian-Kazakhstani ties in the field of air missile defense. We have delivered the S-300PS air missile defense systems and missiles for them to Kazakhstan free of charge with an aim to strengthen the unified regional air missile defense system," Shoigu said.
According to him, the defense industries of Russia and Kazakhstan have good prospects for cooperation. "Our priority is to create a common reliable defense potential capable of withstanding any challenges and threats," the Russian defense minister stressed.
Shoigu added that the Russian Defense Ministry was ready to help Kazakhstan in all questions of military construction.
CSTO Secretary-General Nikolai Bordyuzha on Wednesday told the media that the cluster of regional air defenses will allow for creating a system of protecting the entire air space of the Collective Security Treaty Organization when finalized.
He recalled that at this moment there already exist the Russian-Belarussian and Russian-Kazakh air defense systems. An Armenian-Russian air defense system began to be created several years ago. At the moment the agreement is in the ratification phase by the national legislatures, Bordyuzha said.
"Creation of such regional systems is the first phase. Phase two will envisage the unification of these systems and their adjustment to standard tasks. This will allow for creating an air defense system over the entire CSTO space," Bordyuzha said.
Russia and Armenia agreed to create a common air defense system at the end of December 2015. A similar agreement was signed with Kazakhstan in 2013, and with Belarus back in 2009. Minsk and Astana have been armed with Russian air defense systems S-300PS on the disinterested basis.
Plans were unveiled for creating similar regional air defense systems with other CSTO member-states - Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Early last April there were reports the corresponding documents had been agreed on and were in the coordination phase.