Sources in Russia have revealed that the government in Moscow has delayed the delivery of fighter jets and missile defence systems to the Assad regime, citing Syria’s failure to pay for earlier consignments.
According to Kommersant newspaper, an unnamed source at Russia’s state arms exports agency Rosoboronexport said that the 12 MiG-29M/M2 jets will not be supplied before 2016-2017 and the S-300 missile deal has been put on hold for “financial and technical” reasons.
Meanwhile, Russia continues to reject international military intervention in Syria. President Vladimir Putin has demanded that the United States should provide its evidence that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons two weeks ago, stressing that the failure to submit such evidence means that it probably does not exist. He described as “nonsensical” the claims that Assad’s regime used such weapons. “The Americans,” added Putin, “should present their evidence to the UN inspectors and Security Council; if they don’t, it probably doesn’t exist.”