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Russia

Russia Confirms Ship Was Carrying Helicopters To Syria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
By RFE/RL
Syria's military suffered losses away from the conflict zones in the country on June 21 as Russia confirmed a vessel that was turned back earlier in the week was carrying military equipment to Syria and a Syrian pilot flew his warplane to neighboring Jordan and defected.

The Russian vessel "Alaed" was forced to return to Russia on June 19 after the ship's British insurer canceled coverage of the vessel amid reports it was carrying attack helicopters to Syria.

The ship was off the Scottish coast when it turned around.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed in an interview with radio station Ekho Moskvy that the "Alaed" did have military equipment aboard but repeated earlier comments from the Kremlin that the weapons could not have been used against civilians.

"The ship was carrying air-defense systems, as we've said before, which could be used only for repelling foreign aggression and never against peaceful demonstrators," Lavrov said. "And yes, it was carrying three repaired helicopters."

Lavrov explained that the helicopters, which he said were the "property of the Syrian side," were repaired in Moscow as part of a deal signed several years ago.

"The repair contract for these Soviet-made helicopters had been signed in 2008. They underwent a major overhaul [in Russia]," he said. "They were carried disassembled on board that vessel and would have taken another three months to be assembled on arrival."
 
Lavrov also lashed out at the "unreliability" of the British insurer Standard Club and the British insurance system.

"Contracts and agreements must be fulfilled, that is an irrefutable truth," Lavrov said.

The Standard Club said on June 19 that it could not insure the "Alaed" because it was carrying military equipment to Syria in breech of company rules.

Lavrov also said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "will not leave" since "at least one-half of the Syrian population voted for him, his party, and his policies."

Meanwhile, a Syrian military pilot landed his warplane in Jordan, where he was granted asylum.

Jordanian Minister of Information Samih al-Maaytah confirmed the news in Amman.

"Today at 10:45 Amman time, a MiG-21 jet fighter of the Syrian Air Force landed at an air base [in Jordan]," he said, "and the pilot asked for political asylum in Jordan."

Jordan later named the pilot as Colonel Hassan Merei al-Hamade.

The Syrian government denounced the pilot and state television cited the Defense Ministry as saying, "The pilot is considered a deserter and a traitor to his country."

The Syrian government said it wants the warplane returned.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP
 
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by: Anonymous from: USA
June 21, 2012 17:17
"Contracts and agreements must be fulfilled, that is an irrefutable truth," Lavrov said.

Didn't Russia have an agreement to remove troops from Moldova? And how may years ago was that? Russia cannot be trusted with "agreements".
In Response

by: Anonymous
June 21, 2012 20:33
that is true
In Response

by: Alex from: LA
June 22, 2012 03:16
OMG we do this all the time. Our firm sell weapons to countries we legally are not allowed, because we sign certain documents that we agreed not to sell them to those countries, because of on going frozen conflicts (Azeristan). Yet, we are selling it to them. So stop this double standard BS that only we can do that and our enemies can't.
These so called 'freedom fighter' are terrorist supported by foreign gov't that are us and our allies. These terrorist attack Christian neighborhoods that are defended by Assad's troops, but we are not talking about that are we. I hope Assad stays in power, because of one thing, the alternative will be Islamist come to power and all Christians are gonna suffer, just like in EGYPT. Do we want another EGYPT situation, by actions of my gov't looks like they do.
In Response

by: Rick from: Milan
June 22, 2012 23:08
NO , DON'T HAVE .

there was the famous agreement of Istambul in 1999 ,
that we know as "Adapted Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty"
or CFE II
in which Russia have an agreement to remove troops from Moldova

But considering that :
"The Adapted Treaty will enter into force when all 30 states-parties have ratified the agreement"
and considering that :
"As of August 2006, only Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine have done so"
on July 14, 2007 Russia suspended its ratification

So ,
a treatty that pratically no on firmed
and Russia suspended
would be the agreement that you cited .

by: j.j.
June 21, 2012 18:57
Two of those components of the propaganda wars for the US/UK/Nazi Nieue World Ordnung was the creation of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty - both staffed with Gehlen’s old Nazis and funded by the CIA.

http://www.voltairenet.org/NATO-s-Nazi-Beginnings-How-the
In Response

by: William from: Aragon
June 21, 2012 23:27
In interesting historical background. However, do you have a point to make? Do you believe that RFERL is still run by old Nazis and still funded by the CIA?
In Response

by: Anonymous from: USA
June 22, 2012 01:43
No surprise. Many Nazis defected to the Soviets as well. General Paulus was a perfect example. Several became commanders of the Stasi.

by: Anonymous
June 21, 2012 20:35
"The Russian vessel "Alaed" was forced to return to Russia on June 19 after the ship's British insurer canceled coverage of the vessel amid reports it was carrying attack helicopters to Syria."
Russia cannot even insure her own ships. Are they carrying their own tugboats as well?
In Response

by: Anonymous from: USA
June 22, 2012 15:36
Russia's *one* aircraft carrier carried its own tugboat---it couldn't move without it!

by: james r. from: usa, new castle pa.
June 21, 2012 23:04
If Russia has a contract with Syria, then Moscow must "fulfill" said agreement, even if that means delivering those helicopters using warships, and Naval Infantry. Cargo ship Alaed 'forced!' return is making Putin appear as if he has been "whipped!" by the likes of Hilary Clinton,& that whelp of a boy Cameron. These event have taken on greater dimensions of delivery of Soviet era military equipment. it now concerns whether Russian ships will have free passage on the high seas.

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
June 23, 2012 07:54
On other news I have just (Saturday morning) read that A TURKISH MILITARY PLANE WAS SHOT DOWN IN SYRIA. It sounds like a perfect pretext for NATO to start something more than talking on the Syrian soil - let's see whether these heros will be smart enough to get into anther of those wars that they can only lose :-)).

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