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Kremlin mum on Russia's possible deliveries of S-300 air defense systems to Syria

Putin’s earlier statement contained no direct reference to the possibility of providing defense systems to Syria

MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has preferred to refrain from any further comments if the Kremlin supports the idea of providing S-300 air defense systems to Syria. Instead, he advised the media to read President Vladimir Putin’s statement on Syria once again.

"Please read again the president’s statement made several hours after the attack and aggression against Syria. Read it attentively," he said.

In his statement made public on April 14 Putin said the United States had dealt a missile strike against targets in Syria without permission from the UN Security Council, in violation of the UN Charter and rules and principles of international law. He described that as an act of aggression against a sovereign state. Putin strongly condemned the attack on Syria and added that the escalation of tensions was causing a harmful effect on the entire system of international relations.

Putin’s statement contained no direct reference to the possibility of providing defense systems to Syria. However, on April 16 Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia was prepared to consider all necessary steps for strengthening Syria’s defenses, including the supplies of air defense systems S-300. Lavrov said "this outrageous act of aggression" by the United States, France and Britain was forcing Russia to give thought to ways of maintaining Syria’s security.

On April 14, the United States, Britain and France delivered a massive strike on Syria without asking for consent from the UN Security Council. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, a research center in Damascus, the headquarters of the republican guard, an air defense base, several military airdromes and military warehouses were among the selected targets. Of the 103 missiles launched the Syrian air defense shot down 71. Washington, London, and Paris claimed the strikes were in retaliation for an alleged chemical attack in Syria’s Douma.