Russia to supply Kuwait, Saudi Arabia with weapons as Iran deal delayed for technical reasons

February 24, 2010

The Russian ambassador (second left) with colleagues from Iran, Jordan and Czech Republic - Al Anba

Russia will supply Kuwait with several types of weapons under a bilateral agreement, Kuwaiti media said on Wednesday.

Quoting Alexander Kinshchak, Russia’s ambassador to Kuwait, Al Anba said that the two countries have agreed on all the details and that Kuwaiti experts will be trained on the use of the new weapons.

A Kuwaiti military delegation is expected to fly to Russia for matters related to the training, the paper said.

Kinshchak who was talking at a reception he hosted to mark the Army Day, however, refused to give details about the weapons.

“We are now in the implementation stage and we will scrupulously apply all the conditions stipulated in the agreement,” he said.

Kinshchak said that Kuwait- Russia military cooperation was robust and included technical reinforcement in all military areas, but ruled out joint exercises in the present time.

“We do not have military units in Kuwait in order to engage in military manoeuvres.  However, such cooperation could take place in the future,” said Kinshchak who has been in his post in Kuwait since April 2008. “The fact that we can cooperate indicates that we have good relations.”

Asked about the delay in delivering the S-300 air defense missiles to Iran, the ambassador said that the official statement from Moscow was the existence of technical problems.

Russia signed in 2007 a deal to supply Iran with the missiles, but has not delivered them.

Last week, Alexander Fomin, deputy head of the Federal Military-Technical Cooperation Service, said that “the delay is taking place because of technical problems” and that “the delivery will take place when they have been resolved.”

According to Security Council Deputy Secretary Vladimir Nazarov, “there is the signed contract that we must fulfill, but supplies have not started yet.”

“This deal is not restricted by any international sanctions, because these are merely defensive weapons,” he told Interfax.

Earlier this month, Sayyed Mahmoud-Reza Sajjadi, Iran’s ambassador to Russia said Moscow has guaranteed that it would deliver the missile system to Iran.

“Iran is ready to receive this system and our Russian colleagues have assured us that they will meet their obligations,” he said. “Several technical issues have emerged, and we hope they will be resolved soon.”

According to a RIA Novosti, Russia and Saudi Arabia are in the final stage of an array of agreements on the sale of Russian armored vehicles anti-aircraft systems and combat helicopters.

“We are actively working along three lines – helicopters, armor and air-defense systems,” said Alexander Fomin, first deputy director of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation.

Russian and foreign media earlier reported that Russia and Saudi Arabia were drafting an arms contract to a tune of $4-6 billion.


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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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