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article imageIsrael attempts to prevent Russian S-300 delivery to Syria

By R. C. Camphausen     May 12, 2013 in Politics
Early next week, Israeli PM Netanyahu will meet Russian President Putin in Sochi for what seems to be an attempt to dissuade the latter from sending S-300 anti-aircraft batteries to the Syrian armed forces. Chances for a successful mission seem small.
The exact date for the meeting between Binyamin Netanyahu and Vladimir Putin is being kept a secret. While France 24, the Raw Story and Debka File all speak of the meeting, neither is able to be more precise than 'early next week.'
The hitherto unscheduled meeting comes after it became known that a delivery of S-300 anti-aircraft batteries may be imminent. News of such a shipment has been met with alarm not only in Israel, but also in the US, UK and France, the countries most loudly calling for an end to the 'regime' of Syrian President Bashar Hafiz al-Assad.
Russia has countered all critical voices about the weapon sale, at this critical time, by saying that the soon to come delivery of the S-300 is nothing but the finalization of an older, outstanding order placed by Syria.
The S-300 seems to be an advanced system, 15 of which have recently been ordered by China with the bill totaling more than $2 billion.
The S-300 is able to intercept aircraft at a distance of 200 km from their target, and in practical terms that would mean Israel can no longer attack Syria unchallenged; as it has done twice in recent weeks.
During his recent visit to Putin, US Secretary of State John Kerry had already warned that any such sale would be “potentially destabilizing” for the region, yet only last Friday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that “Russia has sold and signed contracts a long time ago, and is completing supplies of the equipment, which is anti-aircraft systems, according to the already signed contracts.”
After Kerry and Cameron, United Kingdom PM, Netanyahu is the third prominent politician seeking to influence Moscow over these weapons. His chances of successfully doing that are generally regarded as small. One will have to follow the news next week brings.
Interesting facial expressions during a  meeting in 2012
Interesting facial expressions during a meeting in 2012
The Raw Story
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