Russian Ambassador in Israel: No Syrian-Russian Arms Deal

(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
April 28, 2000

The Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Israel, Mikhail Bogdanov, met this morning with the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Eytan Bentsur, and told him that the information published in the Israeli and world media regarding a large arms deal which had been signed, or was being formulated, between Moscow and Damascus was not correct. The meeting took place as a result of the clarifications that Israel had requested from Russia regarding this subject.

The Ambassador also reported to Director General Bentsur that Russia will be sending a special envoy to the Middle East next week. The envoy, Vladimir Kratozov, who was formerly Russia’s ambassador in Baghdad, will hold talks in Israel, Damascus and Beirut with the purpose of advancing and assisting the peace process and the matter of Lebanon.