The negotiations on the contract began the middle of 2010. The new Yak-130 will complement the existing fleet of Czech training aircraft L-39 Albatross in the Syrian Air Force. Meanwhile, many experts believe that an agreement with Damascus seems to be risky because of the new sanctions on Syria that may be introduced in the near future by the UN. Such sanctions on Libya in the past have prevented Russia to sign contracts worth about four billion dollars.
The U.S. permanent representative to the UN Susan E. Rice has expressed concern about the lack of sanctions against Syria for the supply of arms and military equipment.
"Unfortunately, there is not an arms embargo against Syria, which we certainly think is overdue, in part because, as you well know, some members of the Council, including Russia, have indicated opposition to any form of sanction, even those that mirror that the Arab League has already implemented. And we will have a better understanding at that time as to whether the Russians are prepared to engage in a negotiation in which there is give and take and compromise on the proposals that have come from other delegations or whether in fact we remain stuck." - Rice said.
January 18 Russia's Foreign Minster Sergey Lavrov has stressed that Russia did not violate any international laws in its arms sales to Syria.
"Concerning the statement made by the US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice. She voiced concern over the fact that some vessel, Chariot, if I am not mistaking, was offloaded at a Syrian port. I heard that she even had requested some explanations. We do not think that any explanations are needed here. We do not want to look for any excuses. Because we do not violate any international laws, any resolutions of the UN Security Council. We are engaged in trading with Syria because it is not prohibited by the international law." - Mr. Lavrov said.
Syria has been living in the atmosphere of non-stopping anti-government protests for nine and a half months already. According to the UN, more than 5000 people have been already killed in Syria. Western countries are calling on President Bashar al-Assad to resign. January 10, Al-Assad has promised to hold a referendum on changing the constitution.
It is also worth noting that Chief of Armaments of the Armed Forces of Belarus Major-General Ivan Dyrman stated that the Ministry of Defense of Belarus also intends to purchase Russia's training aircraft Yak-130 in the next two years. According to him, the purchase conditions of the aircraft are currently being negotiated with the Russian side. Ivan Dyrman added that the purchase of the Yak-130 will allow Belarus to reduce the cost of training pilots.
Combat-capable variant of the Yakovlev Yak-130 advanced jet trainer/light-attack aircraft is developed by the Yakovlev design bureau together with the Italian Aermacchi SpA and the Slovakian Povazske Strojarne LM that participated in the development of engines. The aircraft is designed for the Russian Air Force as a training tactical aircraft, as well as for training pilots of the fifth generation fighters. The Yak-130 is highly maneuverable; it can reach speeds up to 1060 kilometers per hour and is equipped with modern on-board equipment. Yak-130 can carry missiles, bombs and cannon-containers with a total mass of up to three tons.
December 7, 2011 Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and President of Irkut corp. Alexei Fedorov signed a contract to supply the party of combat training aircraft Yak-130. In accordance with the terms of the contract, the Irkut corp. will supply 55 Yak-130 for the Russian Air Force till 2015. Overall, Russia's armaments program for 2011-2020 envisages the purchase of 65 Yak-130.