Russia: Why They Supply Syria
By Micah Halpern
Friday May 17, 2013
I've Been Thinking:
Moscow is asking why they are being publically challenged about supplying weapons to Syria.
"I do not understand why the media is trying to create a sensation out of this," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is quoted by AFP as saying. "We have not hidden that we supply weapons to Syria under signed contracts, without violating any international agreements or our own legislation."
He is correct. Russia is not hiding anything and they are not violating any international laws. They are trying to protect their investment in Syria. They have invested in hardware and in infrastructure. And they have invested in human capital in the form of Bashar Assad himself.
Here's the rub: While Russia is not violating international laws there is no doubt that Syria is violating their contracts with Russia. The contracts say that the weapons will be used in defense and that they will not be transferred or resold. That they will not be given to terrorist organizations.
Russia asserts that there is nothing else they can do other than insist that the contacts be held up.
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