Russia will continue arms sales to ally Syria: official
Russia will continue exporting arms to Syria since no international decision has been made outlawing it, said a top industry official quoted by the news agency Interfax Sunday.
Speaking at the Dubai Air Show, deputy director of the Russian Federal Military and Technical Cooperation Service (FSVTS) Viacheslav Dzirkaln said: "Since there is no restriction on arms deliveries to Syria, Russia respects its contractual obligations with the country."
Russia already said in August that it would continue to send weapons to its longstanding ally, ignoring calls from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to countries still trading with Syria to "get on the right side of history".
International pressure is mounting on President Bashar al-Assad to end the violent repression of dissent in which at least 3,500 people have died, according to UN estimates.
Assad's security forces have been cracking down on pro-democracy protests, inspired by the Arab Spring revolutions, since March 15.
Although Russian President Dmitry Medvedev did in October call on the Syrian leader to accept reforms or resign, Russia has nevertheless opposed UN sanctions against Syria, insisting on the need for dialogue instead.
© 2011 AFP