Russia’s contract with Syria to supply S-300 air defense systems will be fulfilled by June 2014, a corporate report indicates.
A glimpse of light on the future of the contract, which caused controversy earlier this year, was shed by an annual report of MMZ Avangard. It’s part of the Almaz-Antey, the producer of the S-300, which is responsible for supplying missiles for the systems.
The report published on the company’s website mentions a letter from another branch of Almaz-Antey informing of a delay in the contract with a foreign customer 760. The code corresponds to Syria, reports the Russian newspaper Vedomosti.
The letter arrived on April 3 and said that Avangard should postpone delivery of the second batch of 48N6E2 missiles under the contract till June 2014. The report also says that the company received advanced payment of almost $7.3 million for the missiles.
Russia and Syria signed a $1 billion contract for four S-300 batteries back in 2011 before the tensions in the Middle-Eastern country escalated into a bloody war.
The contract came into media spotlight in May amid general Western criticism of Russia over supplying arms to the government of Bashar Assad. Some media implied that the systems are about to be deliver and would greatly empower Damascus in its fight against the foreign backed militant groups.
Moscow insists that it was not violating any international law with its defense contracts with Syria. Though in June, President Vladimir Putin announced that the S-300 contract is yet to be fulfilled.
The postponement of the shipment is most likely beneficial for both Russia and Syria in the current situation, believes military expert Ruslan Pukhov, because the systems delivered “would certainly be a very strong political irritant.”