Russia denies selling S-300 missiles to Azerbaijan (Update 1)

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There is no truth to reports that Russia has agreed to deliver S-300 air defense systems to Azerbaijan, Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said on Thursday.

There is no truth to reports that Russia has agreed to deliver S-300 air defense systems to Azerbaijan, Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said on Thursday.

"There is no contract between Russia and Azerbaijan on the delivery of S-300 air defense systems to this country," a Rosoboronexport spokesman said.

Russian business daily Vedomosti said earlier on Thursday that Rosoboronexport signed an agreement with the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry on the delivery of two S-300PMU-2 Favorit (SA-20b Gargoyle b) battalions last year, citing a top manager at a company producing S-300 components.

Rosoboronexport official Vyacheslav Davydenko denied the report, while a spokesman for Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said he had no information on any sale.

Vedomosti said the contract was worth $300 million, which would have made it the biggest single purchase of weapons by an ex-Soviet state. Russia has previously sold S-300 missiles to Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Outside the post-Soviet space, Russia has delivered S-300 air defense systems to Algeria and China. In December 2005, Russia signed a contract on the delivery of at least five S-300 systems to Iran, but delivery has so far been delayed. In June, Russia said it would freeze the delivery due to a fourth round of UN sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.

The advanced version of the S-300 missile system, called S-300PMU1, has a range of over 150 kilometers (over 100 miles) and can intercept ballistic missiles and aircraft at low and high altitudes, making it effective in warding off air strikes.

 

MOSCOW, July 29 (RIA Novosti)

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