Russia's deputy foreign minister has confirmed that Moscow will provide Syria with state-of-the art air defence missiles to prevent foreign intervention in the country.
Sergei Ryabkov would not say whether any of the long-range S-300 air defence missiles had already been shipped, but said Moscow did not intend to abandon the deal.
Ryabkov said the deal helps restrain some "hot heads" considering a military intervention in Syria.
Fears are growing of an arms race in Syria after EU countries agreed they could arm rebels while Russia could give missiles to the regime.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said a "clear message" had been sent to Assad's regime after the EU decided to lift the Syrian arms embargo.