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Sat Jun 1, 2013, 03:11 PM


Moscow Threatens To Speed Missiles To Syria But Also Offers To Delay

MOSCOW | Fri May 31, 2013 12:53pm EDT
(Reuters) - Russia could speed up delivery of anti-aircraft missiles to Syria if the West intervenes, but also floated the idea of suspending the shipment, Russian media reported on Friday, as Moscow set out its negotiating position ahead of peace talks.

A Russian arms industry source was quoted by Interfax news agency as threatening to hasten delivery of the hotly-contested S-300 missiles if the West were to impose a no-fly zone or Israel were to launch new air strikes.

However the source also "did not exclude that the delivery of the S-300 to Syria could be frozen for a period of time" Interfax reported, comparing the move to the delivery of another weapons system that was suspended by Moscow.

Russia's arms industry is firmly controlled by the state, and it is unlikely the unidentified source would be authorized to speak without the blessing of the Kremlin.

Russia and the West are staking out positions with parallel threats to arm the warring sides ahead of a peace conference next month, the first attempt in a year by the global powers on either side in Syria's civil war to look for a way to end it.



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