Lavrov on Russia's S-300 Supplies to Syria: It's No Secret, But Not Decided Yet
He added that Russian President Vladimir Putin had discussed the issue with the Defense Ministry in order to help avoid a situation, in which Syria was not prepared enough for "aggressive actions" like the massive airstrike conducted by the US, France and the UK on April 14.
In his turn, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has refused to comment on the possibility of S-300 surface-to-air missile systems supply to Syria.
The newspaper has cited diplomatic and military sources as saying that the issue of supplying the S-300 Russian long range surface-to-air missile systems to Syria "has practically been resolved."
The supplies will be conducted within the framework of rendering military and tech assistance to Damascus which the sources said "has no money" to pay for the deliveries.
S-300 components, such as radar stations, transport-loading machines, control points and launchers, will be delivered to Syria either by military transport planes or Russian naval ships.
If delivered, the S-300 is expected to become part of the Syrian air defense system, which currently includes the predominantly Soviet-made S-125, S-200, Buk, Kvadrat and Osa missile systems.
Russian President's spokesman Dmitry Peskov has, meanwhile, declined to comment on whether Moscow will supply the S-300 systems to Syria, stressing that last week's Western missile strike on Syria "had further deteriorated situation around the Syrian settlement."
Late last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Sputnik that Moscow was no longer bound by a moral duty not to supply the S-300 systems to Damascus after recent Western missile strikes on Syria.
Earlier, in an interview with the BBC, Lavrov said that Moscow was ready to consider any means to help the Syrian army curb further aggression even though "several years ago we [Russia] decided not to supply S-300 systems to Syria at our partners’ request."
On April 14, the US, France and the UK carried out coordinated airstrikes against Syria in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by government forces in the city of Douma in the suburban Damascus region of Eastern Ghouta on April 7.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Syrian air defense systems managed to intercept 71 out of the 103 missiles fired by the trilateral alliance at the civil and military targets within the Arab republic. The Russian air defense units did not take part in the interception as no missile entered their areas of responsibility.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in turn said that its fact-finding mission had visited a site in Douma to collect samples in connection with the alleged chemical attack. The OPCW added that it would "evaluate the situation and consider future steps including another possible visit to Douma."