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Russia Hands Belarus Anti-Aircraft Systems

Published: July 11, 2014 (Issue # 1819)



  • Russia has signed a contract to give Belarus four S-300 air defense systems free of charge.
    Photo: Vitaly V. Kuzmin / Wikicommons

The Russian Defense Ministry has signed a contract to give Belarus four S-300 air defense systems, which are worth hundreds of millions of dollars, free of charge, a top Russian military official told ITAR-Tass on Thursday.

The S-300 is one of the world's most sought after air defense systems. Its radar can hone in on aircraft, cruise missiles and even ballistic missiles, and destroy targets as far away as 150 kilometers, launching one missile every three seconds.

The S-300s will be handed over as soon as the Belarussian Defense Ministry signs the contact, said Konstantin Biryulin, deputy director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu first told reporters about the planned deal in October 2013, saying that both sides were looking to beef up their joint air defense system, which was created as part of a 2009 agreement between Moscow and Minsk.

Minsk is not stopping at the S-300s, however, having recently agreed to buy four Yak-130 combat training aircraft from Moscow, and an unspecified number of Tor-M2 air defense systems, Biryulin said.

Iran has been trying to buy S-300s from Russia for years, but to no avail.

An $800-million-purchase of five S-300s by Iran was halted in 2010 by then-President Dmitry Medvedev, who was worried that the deal would tarnish Russia's image at a time when the United Nations was imposing sanctions on Tehran to pressure it into abandoning its nuclear ambitions.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 1


Bikers from all around the world will gather to take part in a parade, extreme shows and rock concerts during the International Biker Festival that revs its engines today and runs through Aug. 3 near Olgino Hotel, 4/2 Primorskogo Shosse.


The Peter and Paul Fortress will be turned into an open-air cinema today and tomorrow as part of the 5th International Short and Animation Film Festival. A huge screen across the fortress walls will air short films non-stop with board games, photo sessions and other activities also on offer for visitors. For more information, visit www.opencinemafest.ru



Saturday, Aug. 2


Gatchina Palace Park Museum will host its second annual Night of Light, an impressive audio-visual show across the night sky. Tickets are 600 rubles ($16).


If graphic design is more your thing then check out Illustration Day, where you will be able to visit an exhibition, attend lectures by professionals and even show experts some of your own work. The event starts at noon at Zona Deystvia, 73 Ligovsky Prospekt. The entrance fee is 350 rubles ($10).



Sunday, Aug. 3


History lovers shouldn’t miss the chance to see reenactments of World War I battles in Pushkin at noon. Besides exciting war scenes, visitors can enjoy live music, historical costumes, an equestrian show and a fancy-dress parade starting from the Moscow gates.


Garage Sale, the popular and growing flea market where nothing is priced over 500 rubles ($14.11), starts today at noon in Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt. Be sure to get in early to score a bargain. Entry costs 50 rubles ($1.40)



Monday, Aug. 4


Continue the working week with a calm and steady mind with a free yoga lesson at 7 p.m. in the Bukvoyed store at 23A Vladimirsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Aug. 5


Visit The Romanov Dynasty doll exhibition today, where more than fifty porcelain dolls depicting Russian rulers, and made by Olina Ventzel, will be on show. The exhibition continues through Aug. 31 in Sheremetyev Palace, 34 Fontanka Naberezhnaya.



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