Recently received a sequel story with the delivery of Russian C-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Syria. This time news can talk about the completion of the protracted disputes related to the contract from 2010 year. Russian officials have determined the fate of the missile systems built for Syria, but still not transferred to the customer.
Deputy Director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Konstantin Biryulin recently spoke about the future plans of the department. It was decided that C-300 systems ordered by Syria will not be transferred to the customer. In the near future they are disposed of. The decision to terminate the fulfillment of contractual obligations was taken by the country's leadership, taking into account UN sanctions against Syria. At the same time Biryulin noted that Russia was not the initiator of the breach of contract. The decision to refuse deliveries was made solely because of UN sanctions.
The deputy director of the FSB PTS noted that the possibility of selling the built complexes to a third country, which would express a desire to acquire them, was being considered. Nevertheless, an alternative customer was not found, and therefore defense enterprises will soon have to dismantle the ready-made missile systems and dispose of some of their elements.
The contract for the supply of Syria C-300 air defense missile systems was signed in 2010 and implied the supply of anti-aircraft systems and missiles for them worth about 900 million US dollars. After the start of the war in Syria in 2011, the fulfillment of the order began with problems related to the attitude of foreign countries and international organizations to this conflict and its participants. One of the consequences of this was a significant shift in the timing of the contract.
In August last year, domestic media, citing sources in the defense industry, wrote that part of the anti-aircraft complexes ordered by Damascus had already been built. The construction of the remaining complexes was suspended due to the difficult international situation. The transfer of the ordered equipment was also postponed indefinitely. At the same time, it was claimed that all ordered C-300 systems had to go to Syria no later than the spring of 2013. Moreover, by that time the customer had paid a considerable part of the total cost of the ordered equipment.
An interesting fact is that in the late spring of 2013, the world's media, citing Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, announced the start of deliveries of Russian C-300 complexes. However, it later emerged that Assad did not talk about the beginning of deliveries. In the misinterpreted interview, it was said only about the continuation of work on the concluded contracts, but not about the recent deliveries of equipment. Soon, Russian officials confirmed the continuation of work and fulfillment of obligations in accordance with established deadlines.
Over the past year, the situation around Syria has not changed much, as a result of which, it seems, the current statements of the deputy director of the Military-Technical Cooperation Service have become. It is obvious that at present the transfer of anti-aircraft systems to the Syrian military is impossible because of UN sanctions, and the search for another buyer of finished products was not crowned with success. Officials considered that the only acceptable way out of this situation was the termination of the fulfillment of the contract with Damascus and the disposal of the systems already built. There is no information on the financial aspects of the decision, in particular, on the return of the advance payment allegedly made by Syria.
It should be noted that this is not the first time that decisions of an international organization affect the fate of military equipment built in Russia. In 2007, the Russian C-300 anti-aircraft missile systems were ordered by Iran. Russian enterprises have begun to fulfill an order with a total value of about 800 million dollars. In 2010, the UN introduced new sanctions against Iran, because of which Russia was forced to stop the implementation of the contract. The already built complexes were disposed of, and the money already paid was returned to Iran.
Tehran was unhappy with this development of events and appealed to the Court of Arbitration in Geneva. The Iranian side demanded compensation in the amount of 4 billion dollars. It was argued that the amount of compensation included the costs of preparing for the operation of new equipment, as well as various penalties and moral damage. The court decision has not yet been made and the prospects for the claim are not completely clear. Earlier, an opinion was expressed that a court decision would oblige Russia to fulfill the terms of the contract, which would allow it to make money on the sale of equipment even under sanctions against Iran. Nevertheless, while the situation with a lawsuit raises a lot of questions that have no answer.
The current situation with anti-aircraft complexes, destined for Syria, recalls the recent history of the Iranian contract. In this case, as in the previous case, the further development of the situation remains in question. Probably, in the very near future, official Damascus will respond to the statements of the deputy director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation and thereby clarify the situation a little.
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