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      Russia to Sell Lebanon Advanced Jets 'at Discount'

      Russia to supply Lebanon with 10 MiG-29 fighter jets, Lebanese DM said. Report: Russia-Iran missile defense deal will be carried out after all.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 12/17/2008, 8:57 PM

      Russia will supply Lebanon with 10 MiG-29 fighter jets, Lebanon's Defense Minister Elias Murr said on Tuesday. The ITAR-Tass news agency said the planes would be provided as aid.

      Murr was holding talks in Moscow Tuesday with Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov. Serdyukov told the Rio Novosti news agency that Moscow had received a weapons procurement list from Lebanon, and that it would be considered in the near future. He said that the fighter jets would provide "a fresh impetus" to military cooperation between the two countries.

      Sources privy to the deal told Rio Novosti that the warplanes will be sold "at a large discount."

      Murr said Lebanon was pleasantly surprised by Russia's agreement to sell the jet fighters to them. In the past, he said, Russia had only given Lebanon promises that weren't kept.

      He said additional purchases could include T-90 tanks, armored personnel carriers, and artillery. Government sources told the Al Ahbar newspaper that Israel "will launch a diplomatic offensive which could be followed by a military offensive, because it sees the [Lebanese] army's arming as a threat to its security."

      S-300 Deal Back On?
      According to Reuters, Russia has "begun implementing" a contract it signed with Iran for supplying the Islamic state with advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems, a Russian news agency reported Wednesday.

      There is no confirmation of the report from additional sources.

      The deal was reported to have been frozen after Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert flew to Moscow to discuss the matter several months ago.