Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Russia says missile systems for Syria will deter 'hotheads'

Russia will not scrap plans to deliver an air defense system to Syria despite Western opposition because it would help deter "hotheads" intent on intervention in the two-year-old conflict, the deputy foreign minister said on Tuesday.

It also accused the European Union of "throwing fuel on the fire" by letting its own arms embargo on Syria expire.

Israel and France had urged Moscow to refrain from sending high-precision S-300 missile systems to President Bashar al-Assad's government, which is battling a Western and Gulf Arab-backed insurgency.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov suggested they were useful in deterring intervention.