Latvia to send observers to monitor Russian-Belarusian strategic military drillsMilitary & Defense August 17, 9:30
Russia's Il-114 should be capable of taking off from natural ground airfields — deputy PMBusiness & Economy August 17, 9:19
Russian servicemen to take part in joint drills in Mongolian desertMilitary & Defense August 17, 8:22
Russia’s UN envoy notes good sign in conciliatory language used by US and North KoreaRussian Politics & Diplomacy August 17, 2:40
Proton-M carrier rocket with defense satellite launched from Baikonur space centerScience & Space August 17, 1:44
Russian diplomat suggests Barack Obama read Nelson Mandela’s words about GaddafiRussian Politics & Diplomacy August 17, 1:01
Russian, Indian students creating friendship satelliteScience & Space August 16, 21:46
Zenit St. Petersburg loses 0:1 against FC Utrecht in first leg of Europa League play-offSport August 16, 21:34
Saakashvili plans to return to Ukraine on September 10World August 16, 21:23
KHABAROVSK, September 18. /TASS/. Russia’s Defense Ministry denied media reports on Friday on Russia’s contract soldiers of the Eastern military district being sent to Syria.
"The Eastern military district is surprised by attempts of correspondents of the online media outlet to link the routine activity of the forces to the events in the Middle East," the ministry’s press service said.
The relocation of military units as part of combat training events comes only within the Eastern military district and in line with the schedule, it said.
The Gazeta.ru news portal has published a journalist investigation claiming that Russia’s contract soldiers have refused to be sent to Syria. Russia’s presidential council for human rights has in its turn asked the Defence Ministry to look into the reports.
Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Muallem on Thursday said Damascus would ask Russia to send its troops to fight on the side of the Syrian army if such a need arose. According to him, Syria will not hesitate to ask for support from Russia.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Friday Russia will consider Syria’s request to send troops if Damascus asks for it, but it is hard to talk about hypothetically.
The Pentagon earlier reported that Russia might begin preparations for the construction of an air base near the Syrian city of Latakia. First Deputy Chief of the Russian General Staff Nikolay Bogdanovsky said there are no such plans but "anything may happen."
Syria’s Tartus hosts Russian Navy’s material-technical support facility.