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Syria made no request for Russia to deliver S-300 missile systems — defense minister

Russia is ready to consider the issues, Sergei Shoigu said

MOSCOW, July 11. /TASS/. Syria has not turned to Russia so far with a request to deliver S-300 air defense missile systems, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in an interview with the Italian daily Il Giornale on Wednesday.

"A decision on the delivery of this type of armament to the army of any foreign state is made on the basis of the corresponding request, which has not been filed so far," Shoigu said, replying to a question about the possible deliveries of S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile systems to Damascus.

The Russian defense minister stressed that the S-300 is a defensive weapon system and cannot pose a direct threat to the national security of any country.

"This air defense missile system can pose a threat only to air attack weapons," Shoigu said.

Several years ago, Russia refused to deliver S-300 missile systems to Syria at the request of Israel and some Western countries, the Russian defense minister said.

"Today, after the aggression by the United States, Great Britain and France against Syria that has demonstrated the need for the Syrians to possess modern air defense capabilities, we are ready to consider this issue again," Shoigu said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated on April 16, just two days after the missile attack by three Western countries against Syria that Moscow was ready to consider all necessary steps for strengthening the defense capabilities of that Arab country, including the deliveries of S-300 systems. In May, Russian presidential aide for military and technical cooperation Vladimir Kozhin said that there were no talks so far on the deliveries of these systems.

Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned that Israel would deliver a retaliatory strike, if S-300 systems that could be delivered to Syria would be used against it.