MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Earlier on Thursday, it was reported by Russian newspaper Kommersant that Moscow supplies Syrian government forces with firearms, grenade launchers and armored personnel carriers as the country is struggling with radical ISIL militants.
"There are Russian military personnel in Syria, they have been there for several years. Their presence is tied to the deliveries of arms for the Syrian Army that is taking the brunt in the fight against terrorism from the Islamic State and other extremist groups, so Russian military personnel are there in order to help the Syrians master the equipment and prepare it for use in the anti-terrorist fight," Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow.
According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russia provides "considerable" support to Syria in terms of equipment, training and weaponry.
The foreign minister added that Russian aircraft delivered to Syria "both military equipment in accordance with the existing contracts, and humanitarian aid."
The statement comes two days after Bulgaria said it had banned Russian military aircraft carrying humanitarian aid to Syria from entering Bulgarian airspace citing concerns over "the purpose of the flights and the cargo."