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Russian arms firm denies Yakhont missile deliveries contract

RIA Novosti

14:22 28/10/2010 MOSCOW, October 28 (RIA Novosti) - Russian state arm company Rosoboronexport says it has no contracts for delivery of P-800 Yakhont (SS-N-26) anti-ship cruise missiles or the associated Bastion missile system, the firm's general director Anatoly Isaikin said on Thursday.

"Rosoboronexport does not have delivery contracts for Yakhont missiles or Bastion," Isaikin said.

"Rosoboronexport delivers arms in compliance with international norms without upsetting regional balances of power, and does not permit the illegal proliferation of arms...or allow them to fall into the hands of terrorists or abhorrent totalitarian regimes," he said.

In September 2010, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said Russia would implement a 2007 contract to deliver Yakhont missiles to Syria.

Israel and the USA lobbied against the deal, as it would have allowed Syria to hit ships up to 300 km from its shores with the supersonic cruise missiles. They were also worried they could be acquired by regional terrorist groups.

"His (Isaikin's) statement is somewhat surprising given what has already been said about the deal," International Institute for Strategic Studies' Military Aerospace Senior Fellow Douglas Barrie said.

Vietnam has already taken delivery of Bastion systems ordered from Russia in 2005.

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