According to this link, Russia has cancelled its delivery of S-300 to Syria because of Israel's lobbying.

But, I am curious, What is Israel offering Russian in return?


2 Answers 2


News reports in Israel quoted an anonymous source in the Russian defense ministry, as saying it would take months to train the Syrian forces with using these batteries, making them ineffective.

You would think that Russia would stand to lose a great deal of money from cancelling such a deal, but the truth is, Syria is broke, and can't afford paying for these systems anyway. Had they been delivered, it would have been with a really long credit line, so Russia wouldn't have seen the money any time soon anyway.

This is all very new, so I can't find sources in English for this yet. This source, from Israel's public broadcasting corporation (Hebrew), quotes an advisor at the Russian defense ministry, as saying that while Netanyahu asked for the delivery to be canceled, this was only a minor consideration in the decision. The major reason was the time it would take to train the Syrians with the system.

  • Can you indicate some references for your claims? (non-English is better than nothing).
    – Alexei
    May 14, 2018 at 7:06
  • 1
    @Alexei, I added a source. May 14, 2018 at 7:22
  • Not to mention that if Syria failed, as likely, to use them correctly and was outfoxed by Israeli planes, it wouldn't exactly look great as a "customer success" reference. Sep 11, 2020 at 15:49

Situation is a bit more difficult. It is a fact, that middle east is just a bunch of tensions between different countries.

Russian position on Israel-Palestinian conflict is simple: saving status quo. Peace on middle east can be reached without genocide on one of sides, only if war stops in all regional countries. And if we are going on a road to peace, it is unacceptable, to sell such powerful systems to one of conflict sides. Why Syria(SAR) in such situation is very important - for now it is a place for direct Iran-Israel confrontation, because there is a civil war on its lands. And it is much more easy to strike or place forces there for both sides.

So, russian forces for now are helping to stop the civil war. And then, after it, there will be no place for Iran forces on Syrian lands. And without such confrontation place, war between Israel and Iran is will be just impossible - they don't have shared border.

Total: this is a step for not-heavily-supporting one of Israel-Arab conflict sides.

PS: TsahiAsher answer also means. This is a very complex systems, this can be another argument for canceling.

  • 4
    I find this answer very incoherent. The question is not about Israel-Palestinian conflict. S-300 is a defensive system by nature, how can it affect the balance of powers? How is genocide coming into the picture here? May 15, 2018 at 14:11
  • How it can affect? Very easy. Israel cannot maintain air strikes if it'll lose jets continousely. If it cannot do air strikes, nothing can prevent Iran forces to support hezbollah etc. Israel air strikes is now the only way to not stop, but slow them. And even Israel defence minister notice those systems, I'm sure you know it. . And this is the point why Netanyahu arrived to Moscow. May 15, 2018 at 16:39
  • Don't you really think that Israel defence minister is silly? He knows the power of this systems, and the fact that they not may, but will definetly change the balance)) May 15, 2018 at 16:41
  • Still thinking, @TsahiAsher ?) May 16, 2018 at 6:12
  • I don't live by your timing, @user2501323. I don't have to answer you if I don't want to. That said, are you saying that either there is peace, or genocide of one side by the other? That's quite extreme. You also essentially claim that if Syria has these systems, it will be confident enough (Considering this is a defensive system) to not want peace. That's also a stretch. Finally, I am quite confident that if S-300 batteries were delivered, and fired on Israeli planes, they would have been destroyed as well. May 16, 2018 at 7:54

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