|Putin defiant over weapons sales||
Russian President Vladimir Putin hit back at international criticism of his country’s arms exports on Wednesday, telling supporters that “no one” could tell Russia where, or to whom, it could sell weapons.
Mr. Putin added that the only limitation which Russia will abide by are sanctions imposed by the United Nations. “In all other cases, no one has any justification to dictate to Russia or any other state how to trade or with whom,” he said.
The comments come as the Kremlin is once again under scrutiny over providing armaments to Syria’s government after an incident last week in which a Syrian airliner flying from Russia to Damascus was forced down by Turkish warplanes and had part of its cargo confiscated by Turkish authorities.
The Turkish government said it discovered arms and ammunition on the plane and accused a Russian arms manufacturing agency of supplying weapons to the Syrian military. “Passenger planes cannot transport such ammunition or defense equipment,” said Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister.
Russia said the cargo included “dual use” electronic components for radar, which it insisted were not weapons. Russia denies that it sells Syria military equipment that can be used against civilian protesters, but continues to sell the country shore batteries and anti-aircraft systems.
Mr. Putin appeared to say that Russia would not abide by Turkey’s unilateral embargo on export of arms to Syria via its territory.
“Limitations and prohibitions, whether unilateral or collective, if they are outside the framework of the United Nations Security Council, especially if they are politically motivated, are not norms of international law, and thus are subject to all the ensuing consequences” Mr. Putin said.
(Source: The Financial Times)
Subscribe to our RSS feed to stay in touch and receive all of TT updates right in your feed reader