Report: Livni ‘Will Not’ Discuss S-300 Transfer While in Russia
Israel’s Justice Minister Tzipi Livni will not discuss the delivery of the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system to Syria while on an official visit to Russia this week, the Hebrew-language daily Ma’ariv reported Tuesday, citing an Israeli source.
The report contradicts an earlier Israel Army Radio report that said Livni was due in Moscow for talks over Russia’s plans to supply S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.
Rather, the Israeli source told Ma’ariv that Livni will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss ways to restart peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.
Earlier this year Israel expressed concern over Russian plans to deliver the anti-aircraft system, saying its range could reach deep into the Jewish state and threaten flights over its main commercial airport near Tel Aviv.
In May, Syrian President Bashar Assad told Lebanese news outlet Al-Manar that the country had already received a first shipment of S-300 parts from Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin disputed this claim last month, saying that the country understood Israel’s concerns, while not ruling out the system’s eventual transfer to Syria as “the contract was signed several years ago.”