News / Middle East

Russia Continuing Arms Sales to Syria

Anatoly Isaikin, the head of Russia's state arms trader Rosoboronexport, speaks at a news conference in Moscow, Russia, February 13, 2013.Anatoly Isaikin, the head of Russia's state arms trader Rosoboronexport, speaks at a news conference in Moscow, Russia, February 13, 2013.
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Anatoly Isaikin, the head of Russia's state arms trader Rosoboronexport, speaks at a news conference in Moscow, Russia, February 13, 2013.
Anatoly Isaikin, the head of Russia's state arms trader Rosoboronexport, speaks at a news conference in Moscow, Russia, February 13, 2013.
VOA News
The head of Russia's state arms export agency says it is continuing to send weapons to the Syrian government, but that none of the equipment can be used offensively.

Rosoboronexport director Anatoly Isaikin told a news conference Wednesday that Russia is fulfilling existing contracts, which are legalsince there are no United Nations sanctions barring weapons sales to Syria.

Russia and China have vetoed three U.N. Security Council resolutions against Syria, and have stressed the need for a Syrian-led resolution to the country's crisis without foreign interference.

The United Nations said Tuesday nearly 70,000 people have died since an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began nearly two years ago Syria. That death toll is up from the 60,000 the U.N. human rights commissioner announced in early January.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said approximately 200 people died across the country Tuesday, most of them rebel or government fighters.

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