Russian President Vladimir Putin headed for India on Thursday looking to tie up billions of dollars in arms deals with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, likely irking the US, China and Pakistan in one fell swoop. The Kremlin said before the two-day visit by Putin and top Russian ministers that the “key feature” would be the signing of a $5-billion deal for the S-400 air defence system, despite the risk of US sanctions against countries buying Russian defence kit.
The Russian S-300 air defense system and dozens of additional hardware pieces have been delivered to the Syrian military to boost security of Russian personnel there, Russian Defense Minister, Sergey Shoigu, told President Vladimir Putin. “We have completed the delivery of the S-300 system,” Shoigu said. The hardware supplied to Syria consisted of 49 pieces of military equipment, including radars, control vehicles and four launchers, he added.
The Russian military will also supply better control systems to Syrian Air Defense Troops, “which are only supplied to the Russian Armed Forces,” defense chief Sergey Shoigu elaborated. Arguably, the most concerning thing for Israel will be the delivery to Syria of an S-300 anti-aircraft system, which will boost Syria’s capabilities to deny Israel access to its airspace.
“We will not just buy the S-400s and place them in a storehouse. We will use them if need be. These are defense systems. What are we going to do with them if not use these defense systems? Are we going to depend on the United States again? We have been demanding them for years, but the answer given to us has been: The [US] Congress is not allowing. We are tired of this,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in remarks broadcast live by private Turkish-language TGRT Haber television news network on June 12.