MOSCOW – The leader of Russia’s state arms trader said on Wednesday that Russia will continue supplying weapons to Syria’s President Bashar Assad despite the escalating civil war going on in the nation.
The director of Rosoboronexport, Anatoly Isaikin said that Russia’s government doesn’t see any need to stop sending arms to Syria because it is not prohibited by the UN. He ignored criticism from the West of arms sales to President Assad’s government, stating that his business has only supplied them with defensive weapons.
Isaikin said during a news conference, “In the absence of sanctions, we are continuing to fulfil our contract obligations.” He also said that they aren’t delivering offensive weapons. They are sending repair equipment and air defence systems required by numerous military branches.
The main protector of the Syrian government’s beleaguered regime has been Moscow, which has pooled forces with the Chinese government at the United Nations Security Council to shelter it from attempts to inflict sanctions during its crack-down on the uprising that has lasted 23 months and killed over 60,000 people.
Since the rebel’s offensive against President Assad has gotten worse, the Russian Kremlin has tried to distance itself from the president, showing that it has accepted that he will eventually lose power. However, Moscow continues to oppose UN sanctions against the capital city, and warns that Assad’s regimen falling may put Syria into intensified violence and encourage the increase in extremist groups across the nation.
Isaikin said Russia will continue supplying weapons to Syria’s president under the existing contract, but would not give any specifics