April 8, 2012
Moscow has stepped into the vacuum created by US President Barack Obama’s decision to stay out of any potentially incendiary Middle East involvement while campaigning for a second term. After blocking the way to direct Western and Arab military intervention in Syria through the Mediterranean, Russia sent its Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov last week on a round trip to the capitals of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan – an expedition designed to secure Iran against a potential US/Israeli attack via its northern and eastern neighbors, DEBKAfile’s military sources report.
On his return to Moscow, April 6, the Russian army let it be known that highly-advanced mobile S-400 surface-to-air missiles had been moved into Kaliningrad, the Baltic enclave bordered by Poland and Lithuania, its response to US plans for an anti-Iran missile shield system in Europe and the Middle East.
In Yerevan, the Russian minister finalized a deal for the establishment of an advanced Russian radar station in the Armenian mountains to counter the US radar set up at the Turkish Kurecik air base, our sources disclose.
Just as the Turkish station (notwithstanding Ankara’s denials) will trade data on incoming Iranian missiles with the US station in the Israeli Negev, the Russian station in Armenia will share input with Tehran.
Moscow remains deeply preoccupied in Syria, successfully fending off Western and Arab pressure against its ruler Bashar Assad. DEBKAfile’s sources hear that Assad will not meet the April 10 deadline for moving his heavy armor and battalions out of Syrian cities. Monday, April 8, he sent his foreign minister Walid Moallem to Moscow for instructions for getting him off the hook of failing to comply with his commitment to the UN envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan, starting with a truce.
This article was posted: Sunday, April 8, 2012 at 4:01 am