Tag Archive | "russia"

Israel has short time to hit Iran’s Nuclear Sites if Moscow sells Tehran S-300 Systems

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Thanks to our friends at DEBKAfile, Russian military experts now calculate that the window for an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities will shrink to 3-6 months if Moscow sells Iran (and Syria) the sophisticated S-300 system for guarding those sites against air, missile or cruise missile attack.  Moscow sources report that Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert failed in the key missions of his Moscow trip to persuade Russian leaders to discuss Tehran’s nuclear weapons program and to refrain from selling this advanced weapon to Iran and Syria.

President Dmitiry Medvedev’s bureau issued a noncommittal statement Tuesday, Oct. 7, saying that his talks with Olmert were “an exchange of opinion on threats, including terrorism and nonproliferation.” The word “nuclear” was avoided.

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, who the prime minister met Monday, trotted out the standard Russia claim that Moscow had no definite information that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon and is against tougher sanctions.

Prime minister Vladimir Putin was unable to see him.

Moscow’s mainstream media came out Tuesday with a rerun of the statement made on Sept. 17 by Anatoly Isaikin, director of the Russian arms exports agency Rosoboronexport, that his firm is in advanced negotiations with Tehran for the sale of the S-300 missiles. However, on Monday, the same firm disowned knowledge of these missiles having been shipped to Iran, although negotiations for their sale were not mentioned.

Konstantin Makiyenko, from the center for strategic and technological analysis think tank in the Russian capital, said these utterances put Israel on notice to stop selling arms to Georgia and training its army.

Moscow does not conceal its intention of selling S-300 missiles to Syria. A Russian military expert commented: “Our warships if based in Syrian ports will need to be encircled by missile batteries capable of guarding them against air and missile attack.”

According to Russian experts, the system is capable of pinpointing 100 targets and simultaneously intercepting 12 at a distance of 120 km.

Russian sources made a point of stressing that Moscow is not subject to embargoes on its foreign arms sales or any international restrictions on supplying defensive weapons to other nations.


[tags]russia, s-300, missile defense, iran, syria, israel, weapons program, military[/tags]

Ten Russian warships have docked at Syrian port

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Israeli military and naval commanders were taken by surprise by Rear Adm. Andrei Baranov’s disclosure that 10 Russian warships are already anchored at the Syrian port of Tartus.

Moscow and Damascus have worked fast to put in place the agreement reached in Moscow on Sept. 12 by Russian navy commander, Adm. Vladimir Wysotsky and Syrian naval commander Gen. Taleb al-Barri to provide the Russian fleet with a long-term base at Syrian ports. Israel was not aware that this many vessels were involved in the deal.

What most worries Israeli military leaders is an earlier announcement by Adm. Wysotsky that Russia’s Mediterranean assets would subjected to its Black Sea fleet command, thereby placing Russia’s warships near Israel’s shores at the service of Moscow’s contest against the US and NATO in the Caucasian. It is feared that Israel will be dragged into another cold war.

Rear Adm. Baranov disclosed that the warships in Tartus had brought engineering crews to widen and dredge the harbor to accommodate additional, fleet vessels. The crews were also working on expanding Latakia, another Syrian port, possibly for aircraft carriers or guided missile cruisers.

The Russians are making no secret of their intention of using their naval presence in Syrian ports as a deterrent to a possible Israeli air strike against Syria.

Russia Grabs a Piece of Ice

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The use of Arctic resources is central to Russia’s energy security said President Dmitry Medvedev speaking at the country’s Security Council meeting. Russia also wants its border in the Arctic continental shelf be legally established. The region contains an estimated 25% of the world’s oil and gas.

Medvedev said the country needs “a firm normative-legal base regulating Russia’s activity in the Arctic”.

”First of all, the federal law on the southern border of Russia’s Arctic zone should be completed and adopted,” he said.

Medvedev also said that Russia would next look to establish “the external frontier of the continental shelf.”

The Russian leader said about 20% of Russia’s GDP and 22% of national exports were produced in the Arctic.

The main task, he said, “is to turn the Arctic into Russia’s resource base of the 21st century,” adding that a number of problems, including the protection of Russia’s national interests in the region, needed to be solved.

Most of the Arctic doesn’t belong to any one country – and Russia is among five keen to claim their share.

Speaking after the meeting, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev said: “We must define the borders in the north of our country, where the Arctic lies. Our estimate is that it makes up 18% of our territory. And we are saying that 20,000 kilometres of the state border runs in this region.”

“But we are aware that the Arctic states – Canada, Norway, Denmark and the U.S. – will defend theirs,” he said.

The Russian government will work out a plan of the implementation of state policy in the Arctic by December 1, 2008.

According to the United Nations’ Law of the Sea, any state with an Arctic coastline that wishes to stake a claim to the region must lodge its submission with the UN’s Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, which is what Russia intends to do.

The country’s specialists want to prove that the Lomonosov ridge, a vast underwater mountain range that runs underneath the Arctic, is an extension of the Siberian continental shelf.

Should they succeed it would be the icing on the Arctic cake. But whether Russia’s claim cuts any ice with the UN is anybody’s guess – as the other contenders will certainly not give up without a fight.

“The challenge for Russia is that its Arctic neighbours have long started to formulate their own Arctic strategy, while Russia needs a great deal of inter-ministry and inter-departmental coordination in order to come up with a solid strategy in terms of diplomacy, geology and economy. It’s for this reason that the Security Council wants to set up some very specific goals and then an action plan,” said political analyst Mikhail Troitsky.

Russia, US pull further apart on Iranian nuclear activities

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Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said Friday a military solution to the standoff over Iran’s nuclear ambitions is unacceptable and there is no need for new sanctions. At the same time, Washington has imposed new sanctions on Iran, blacklisting a main shipping line and 18 subsidiaries. The US government accuses the maritime carrier of ferrying contraband nuclear material, which Tehran denies.

Washington sources predict this may be the prelude to more series actions, such as a naval blockade to choke off Iran’s imports of fuel products.

Moscow continues to support the European Union’s diplomatic drive to trade incentives for Iran’s consent to curb “some of its nuclear activities.”

Monday, Sept. 15, the nuclear watchdog’s director Mohamed ElBaradei is expected to present a new report on Iran’s controversial neutral program to the IAEA’s board of governors meeting in Vienna.

Tehran has been asked to account for 50-60 tons of missing uranium from its main enrichment site at Isfahan. It is enough to produce five or six nuclear bombs and is suspected of having been diverted to secret sites to boost the covert production of weapons-grade uranium.

Russian anti-submarine aircraft, nuclear battle cruiser heads for Venezuela

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Russian foreign ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko’s announcement in Moscow provided sketchy details of the coming Russian deployment at a Venezuela airport and the joint naval war games with Hugo Chavez’s navy in the Caribbean. Caracas announced that four Russian ships with almost 1,000 sailors aboard would join its navy for maneuvers on November 10-14.

Uncle Jay Explains the News – September 8th, 2008

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