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Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov (file photo) (ITAR-TASS)
August 25, 2006 -- Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov has dismissed as "complete nonsense" Israeli claims that Hizballah has Russian-made antitank missiles.
Israel says Russian-made Kornet missiles were a particularly effective weapon used by Hizballah during the recent fighting in Lebanon.
Ivanov said Israel had presented no evidence to back its claims and that much of the weaponry once sold by the Soviet Union is now called Russian.
Ivanov also said that Russia is still considering the possibility of sending troops to the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon, adding that sending Russian experts to help rebuild Lebanon's infrastructure would be fully in Russia's interests.
Meanwhile, Moscow-backed Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov said Chechen soldiers would be ready to join the international force in Lebanon, if Russia decided to send troops.
(compiled from agency reports)