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Rosoboronexport to Sell Arms to Syria

ZHUKOVSKY, Moscow Region — State arms exporter Rosoboronexport said Wednesday that it intended to continue selling weapons to Syria, despite calls from the United States for Moscow to halt its weapons trade with Damascus.

Russia, the world's second largest arms exporter, wants to make up for $4 billion of contracts lost when the United Nations placed an arms embargo on Libya this year and is also looking to Africa, South America and Southeast Asia to compensate.

"There were deliveries of arms to Syria last year, and there will be deliveries this year. They will continue," Rosoboronexport head Anatoly Isaykin told reporters at the MAKS air show.

Isaykin said Rosoboronexport would deliver on contracts it has signed with Syria, including a recent agreement for Russia's Yak-130 light attack fighter plane.

He said he expected to make deliveries on at least $9 billion worth of arms globally in 2011, higher than sales of around $8.6 billion last year. Rosoboronexport makes up 80 percent to 90 percent of the country's arms exports every year.

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