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Military relations with Russia improving, but still difficult

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Military relations with Russia improving, but still difficult

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov on September 1 to sign a long-term defense co-operation agreement. Like all such agreements, it spells out the agreed terms and procedures for further cooperation in specific areas, and for military contracts. On September 22 Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a law to implement U.N. Security Council resolution 1929, regarding sanctions on Iran. The law banned supplies of S-300 air defense systems which Russia agreed to sell Iran in2005, as well as tanks, choppers, fighter jets, ships and other arms. Israel and the US had lobbied Russia heavily to not deliver the missiles to Iran and thrown in sweetener deals to make it easier for Russia to say yes. On Tuesday, one of those sweetener deals was announced in the form of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) CEO Itzhak Nissan announcing that his company would help the Russian aerospace firm Oboronprom develop an assembly line for advanced UAVs, a capability Russia’s military desperately needs as it seeks to modernize its aging Soviet built capabilities. But there have also been lows, such as the Sep. 19 announcement that Russia would sell P-800 Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles to Syria, despite strident Israeli objections.

 

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