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Russia says missiles won't endanger Israel

  |   March 14, 2005 at 5:19 PM
JERUSALEM, March 14 (UPI) -- Russia has offered to demonstrate to Israel the Strelets anti-aircraft missile it plans to sell Syria to prove it would not endanger the Jewish state.

Russian Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov reported the offer during an interview with Israel's Channel 1 TV. Ivanov is in Israel to attend Tuesday's inauguration of a new Holocaust Museum.

He said that in 2002, after Israel "expressed concern" over the planned sale of Igla anti-aircraft missiles to Syria, Russian President Vladmir Putin decided not to sell such systems to any area where there is a dispute.

The new plan calls for selling the Strelets, which he said are short ranged and purely defensive missiles posing no threat to Israel.

RIA Novosti's military commentator said the Strelets' tactical and technical characteristics are identical to the Igla R, but while the Igla can be launched from a shoulder, the Strelets needs a rail mounted on a vehicle, a patrol boat or a helicopter.

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