S-400 air defense missile systems will be delivered exclusively to the Russian Defense Ministry until 2016, Rosoboronexport General Director Anatoly Isaykin said in an interview published by Kommersant on Monday.
"Until 2016 all the deliveries will be made exclusively in the interests of the Russian Defense Ministry. It cannot be said definitely that China will be the first [foreign] customer. We negotiated S-400 deliveries with several countries two years ago but had to postpone the negotiations. You have to admit that far from all countries will wait for so long when asked to postpone negotiations held in 2011 until 2016," Isaykin said.
"It may happen that countries with developed defense sectors may invest so much in their air defense systems within four or five years that it would be inexpedient for them to buy finished armaments from Russia," he continued.
"We will carry on the promotion of S-400 [air defense missile systems]: in the two upcoming years we will develop a more complete understanding of the intentions of the countries, which earlier wished to buy these systems, and we will see if they are prepared to wait a bit more," Isaykin added.
As to the end of the deliveries of equipment for S-300 air defense launchers to Syria, he stressed it was "a closed subject." "I can only confirm that the deliveries have been made under contracts with Rosoboronexport and that they continue," Isaykin said.
The Rosoboronexport head also answered a question about the delivery of 36 Yakovlev Yak-130 combat trainers to Syria under the 2011 contract.
"True, the contract was concluded but any reports alleging that Syria possessed the airplanes were erroneous. The delivery has yet to be made," he stressed.
In addition, the head of the state company commented on the Iranian lawsuit against Rosoboronexport over the cancelled S-300 contract.
"This is an absolutely lawful right of the Iranian side to file a lawsuit with an international arbitration court due to the non-fulfillment of the contract. Any court dispute is a quite unpleasant affair and, as a rule, it diverts resources and means. Besides, it does not help improve relations in a natural manner but always adds an element of tension and becomes a factor of irritation. Yet I am confident we will reach compromise, which will satisfy the Iranian side in the first turn," Isaykin said.
If the replacement of S-300 systems with air defense launchers, which have similar parameters, is suggested, obviously, they must not fall under the UN Security Council sanctions, he said.
"There may be a variety of options but they have to meet the aforementioned requirements," Isaykin said.