MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia could speed up delivery of anti-aircraft missiles to Syria if the West intervenes, but also floated the idea of suspending the shipment, Russian media reported on Friday, as Moscow set out its negotiating position ahead of peace talks.
A Russian arms industry source was quoted by Interfax news agency as threatening to hasten delivery of the hotly-contested S-300 missiles if the West were to impose a no-fly zone or Israel were to launch new air strikes.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles will probably arrive in Syria only after several months, but more Israeli air strikes or the creation of a no-fly zone would speed up delivery, a Russian arms industry source said.
Russia, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said it would fulfil an order for the long-range surface-to-air missiles to Syria as a deterrent against foreign military intervention.
BEIRUT/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia has yet to send advanced anti-aircraft missiles to Syria, a source close to the Russian defense ministry said on Thursday, but President Bashar al-Assad said Moscow was still committed to the contract to deliver them.
A Lebanese newspaper had earlier quoted Assad as saying in an interview that Moscow had already sent a first shipment of S-300 missiles. When the actual interview was broadcast, however, the Syrian leader stopped short of saying the missiles had arrived.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Iran must take part in a proposed international conference to end Syria’s civil war, but that Western states wanted to limit the participants and possibly predetermine the outcome of the talks.
Conflicting comments from Russia and the West over Iran’s role in the possible meeting have added to disagreements which already threaten to derail the conference proposed by Moscow and Washington last week.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – They beat him. They shoved beer bottles in his anus. They tried to set him on fire. Then they crushed his head with a heavy stone.
A 23-year-old man in Russia’s southern city of Volgograd was tortured and killed after revealing he was gay during a drinking session last Thursday night, investigators said, taking a rare step by linking a murder to homophobia.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Russian human rights activists on Wednesday but disappointed many by avoiding any harsh criticism of the Kremlin’s record on civil liberties and democracy.
A day after talks in Moscow at which he and Russian officials agreed to try to bring Syria’s warring parties together to discuss ending a civil war, Kerry discussed with human rights campaigners what they say is a clampdown on dissent by President Vladimir Putin.
MOSCOW/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Russia and the United States have agreed to bury their differences over Syria and hold urgent international talks to find a settlement that can end the carnage of a civil war that is inflaming the entire Middle East.
Visiting Moscow after Israel bombed targets near Damascus and as President Barack Obama faces new calls to arm the rebels, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Russia had agreed to try to arrange a conference as early as this month involving both President Bashar al-Assad’s government and his opponents.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia and the United States agreed on Tuesday to convene an international conference, possibly by the end of this month, to try to end the civil war in Syria and prevent bloodshed tearing the country apart.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Secretary of State John Kerry announced the agreement after talks in Moscow, despite their countries’ differences over Syria, and said the Damascus government and the rebels fighting it should be invited.
SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – Pass the metal scanner on arrival at Sochi station or watch Cossacks patrol the streets of the 2014 Winter Olympics venue and you know it did not take the Boston Marathon bombs to alert Russian organizers to two facts:
One, that a major sporting event makes a prime target for terrorism; and, two, that Chechens and other Muslim peoples of Moscow’s restive Caucasus mountain provinces around Sochi nurse deep historic grievances that pose a constant risk of violence.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – A group leading an Islamist insurgency against Russia said on Sunday it was not at war with the United States, distancing itself from last week’s Boston Marathon bombing.
Ethnic Chechen Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who was killed in a gunfight with police following a manhunt that shut down Boston on Friday, and his younger brother Dzhokhar, 19, are suspected of carrying out the attack last week.