Russia bought UAVs from Israel despite Syria, Iran

Posted: April 14, 2009 by Jonathan Boyko in Iran, Israel, Syria
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Israeli UAVAccording to news reports, Russia has ignored pleas from Syrian and Iran not to purchase Unmanned Aerial Vehicles from Israel – deal that has just been finalized:

According to a military export cited by the paper the purchase was in reaction to the August 2008 war in the south Caucasus – where Georgia successfully employed such drones against Russia.

Moscow made the deal despite objections from Israel’s political adversaries Iran and Syria, which are also customers of Russia military hardware.

According to Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin, Russia was purchasing the drones for test purposes.

“We wanted to show our domestic weapons producers among others what needs our army had,” Popovkin said, adding that Russia’s weapon’s industry had to “familiarize” itself with Israeli construction of the Israeli drone.

As I have mentioned before, this purchase deal is not tightening ties with Israel. Instead, Russians are about to ‘steal technology’ – that is, the drones will be dissected and studies, in order for the Russian military production to produce such drones in large numbers.

It is also important to notice, that Russia went against two of its main allies, thus effectively meaning this country is not who you want to be friends with, as it will turn your back on you any moment.

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Comments
  1. Well, apparently, Russians do not really trust Iran or Syria, as for now they do not approve the deals selling them high-tech weapons. Overall, rest of the world should beware of Russia, as they are actively trying to rebuild their previous image – a state that should be feared. As infantile as it is, many Russians actually believe other countries should fear Russia – which is something I don’t get. Fear won’t last forever, and with Russia’s declining population, in another 20 to 30 years there will not be anything to be scared of. Russia should not allow others to use itself, however, it should build positive image of. What they are trying to do instead is to build themselves as a military counter-weight to the United States, which they won’t be able to do.

  2. Roland Hesz says:

    Well, I don’t think that trusting Russia is really a good thing, either. Have 40 years of experience to support that 🙂

    Mind you, if you put yourself in the place of Russia, would you sell really advanced weapons to Iran or Syria? I would not call them countries that can be trusted either, not even if they are your allies. Birds of a feather?
    So I agree with you it was just the wording that made me think a bit.

  3. First of all, I don’t base my opinion only on this case. Russia plays tough game with the Arabs. It still denies Iran the S-300 SAMs, and not fully cooperating on nuclear program. Syria wanted to buy advanced Russian fighter planes and SAMs but still got nowhere. Also, Medvedev and Putin’s governments are very self-centered, meaning they only care about what’s good for Russia (which is fine). I am saying that together with many other trends within Russia, it’s a tough partner to deal with and one should be very careful.

    I might agree it could be a show, that’s true. That’s one of the reason I don’t think it’s a good idea for Israel to sell Russia anything defense-related.

  4. Roland Hesz says:

    I have two things to note:
    “It is also important to notice, that Russia went against two of its main allies, thus effectively meaning this country is not who you want to be friends with, as it will turn your back on you any moment.”
    If this means it then you don’t want to be friends with France, Sweden, the US, the UK, Israel, or any other country on Earth. Ignoring the requests of allies at times is not turning one’s back.

    The second is, that are you sure it’s not a stage thing? Iran and Syria are bound to protest whenever someone makes a deal with Israel, it’s the brand image. On the other hand everybody knows that a lot of times these purchases are mostly for “reverse engineering” purposes. And this is the chance of Iran and Syria to get this technology later.
    So, I can imagine that it is only a public show, and in the background they are paying the Russians for doing this in the hope of getting drones in the future.
    Can’t you? 🙂

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