Russia denies deployment of S-300 in South Ossetia

22:19, August 25, 2010      

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Russia's Defense Ministry on Wednesday denied claims by the Georgian Foreign Ministry that Moscow had deployed an S-300 anti-aircraft missile system in one of Georgia's breakaway regions, South Ossetia.

"There are no Russian S-300 systems in South Ossetia. There is no need for it. The Russian military base and South Ossetia are covered by the army's BUK anti-aircraft system," RIA Novosti news agency quoted a source in the Russian ministry as saying.

The official said no such deployment in South Ossetia was planned because the landscape there did not allow the S-300 systems to be fully operational.

Earlier this month, Russian Air Force commander Alexander Zelin recognized the deployment of one S-300 complex in Abkhazia, another Georgian breakaway region.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said then the deployment did not violate any international agreements as the system was defensive.

Analysts said acknowledgement of the deployment, which came two years after the 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict, showed Russia's intention to contain Georgian "hawks" as well as to warn NATO and the U.S. not to help Georgia rebuild its air force.

The deployment of Russia's S-300 systems had also been denied by South Ossetian defense official Valery Yakhnovets, said Interfax news agency.

According to Yakhnovets, South Ossetian air space has been controlled by the ant-aircraft systems of Russia's 58th Army, "and this is enough to provide the republic's security."

Source:Xinhua

(Editor:黄蓓蓓)

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