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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

Thursday, Nov. 27


The Customs and Transportation Committee for AmCham meets this morning at 9 a.m. in their office on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.


Tickets are still available for local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg’s showdown with Siberian club Metallurg Novokuznetsk tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Ice Palace outside the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. Tickets can be purchased on the team’s website, at the arena box office or in their merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.


Celebrate one of Russian literature’s most tragic figures during Blok Days, a two-day celebration of the 134th anniversary of the poet’s birthday. The tragic tenor’s work, which led to writer Maxim Gorky to hail him as Russia’s greatest living poet before his death in 1921, will be recited and meetings and discussions about his contributions to the Silver Age of literature in St. Petersburg will be discussed in the confines of his former residence.



Friday, Nov. 28


Join table game aficionados at the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening. Held every Friday at 5 p.m., aficionados and amateurs alike can come take part in a variety of different games that test one’s intellect and cunning.



Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only man’s best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during today’s reenactment titled “Winter War: How it Was.” More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Palace of Culture the Petrograd Side. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie “Black Cat, White Cat,” as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of “Takoy Festival,” a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonight’s festival finale is “Fathers and Sons,” a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenev’s classic about familial relations.



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