Russia will not halt Syria arms exports: official
MOSCOW - Agence France- Presse
A man holds a portrait of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a picket to support him outside the Syrian Embassy in Moscow, on February 1, 2012 . AFP PhotoRussia will not halt its arms exports to Syria despite the escalating violence in the country as there are no sanctions restricting its deliveries, a top defence ministry official said on Thursday.
"As of today there are no restrictions on the delivery of weapons and we must fulfill our obligations" said Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov, quoted by Russian news agencies. "And this what we are doing." Russia has repeatedly said that an embargo on arms exports to Syria is a red line for Moscow that cannot be crossed in any UN Security Council resolution on the violence.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had told Australian television on Tuesday that Moscow was implementing its "commercial contractual obligations" to Damascus but that the arms it sold to Syria were "not used against demonstrators".