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Russia to sell 10 MIG-fighter jets to Syria

A senior Kremlin aide defended Moscow's right to deliver weapons to the Syrian government on Friday and said an EU decision to let an arms embargo lapse would hurt efforts to organise peace talks. Yuri Ushakov, President Vladimir Putin's aide on foreign policy, said the EU's decision was "not conducive to preparations for such an important international event" and that Russia would fulfil its arms contracts with the Syrian government, despite Western criticism. Russia is selling more than 10 fighter jets to the Syrian regime, MIG corporation CEO Sergei Korotkov said Friday, dpa reported. The MIG-29MM2 jets will be delivered according to a contract, Korotkov told journalists in Lukhovitzy outside Moscow, the Interfax news agency reported. A Syrian delegation was currently in the Russian capital to sort out the contract details, he said.

Russia, a staunch ally of Damascus and its main arms supplier, has defended its delivery of weapons to the conflict-torn country.

President Bashar al-Assad, in an interview broadcast in Lebanon Thursday, said Syria had taken delivery of the first batch of advanced anti-aircraft missiles from Russia.

Officials from Russia, the United States and the United Nations are to meet in Geneva on Wednesday to discuss a planned international conference on peace in Syria.

Syria's opposition coalition said it will not take part in the talks in June, citing the "massacres" in Syria.

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