LE BOURGET/France/, June 21. /TASS/. Russian state arms export agency Rosoboronexport sold more than $13 billion worth of weapons last year, CEO Alexander Mikheev told reporters at the Paris Air Show on Wednesday.
"The overall exports of military goods of Rosoboronexport in 2016 reached $13.1 billion," Mikheev said.
Over the past five years, the exports have either slightly dropped or increased, but in general the figure has remained at this level, the CEO noted.
"The current situation allows us to be sure that the plan will be fulfilled in 2017," he stressed.
More than half of exports of Russian weapons and military equipment in 2016 went to the Middle East and North Africa, according to Mikheev.
"The share of the Middle East and North African countries in the volume of exports implemented by Rosoboronexport in 2016 exceeded 50%. This is the highest figure in this regional market in the company’s history," Mikheev said.
According to Rosoboronexport, global sales of weapons and military equipment to these regions are on the rise, reaching around $90 billion last year. "Turbulence in the Middle East and North Africa predetermines the region’s status as one of the major importers of armaments," he said.
The Russian state arms export agency seeks to step up cooperation with the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrein and other regional states, Mikheev said. "Increasing supplies to the Middle East and North African countries is tied to implementing large-scale programs of modernization and re-armament," the CEO said.
Last year, these countries accounted for almost 60% of global imports of equipment for the ground forces, over 50% of imports of air defense weapons and some 40% of the total imports of aircraft. The equipment for the Navy accounted for nearly the same figure.