ISTANBUL, May 8 (Itar-Tass) - Ankara and Moscow have real opportunities for wider trade in military products, although one should not expect a major increase in the export of Russian weapons to Turkey, the general director of Russia’s state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport, Anatoly Isaikin, told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
“We remember that Turkey as a member of NATO has definite obligations to abide by in terms of unified standards for weaponry and military hardware,” Isaikin said. “Its maintenance and repair procedures differ from Russia’s. Yet, we still have real opportunities for cooperation on a greater scale without putting a question mark over Turkey’s coalition commitments.”
Isaikin pointed to a number of factors for building up arms export to Turkey, for instance, previous cooperation, the high level of political confidence between the two countries and a variety of mutual projects.
“However, the most important factor is Russia produces the best weapons in the world,” he said. “This argument shatters the most weird prejudices related to the country’s membership of NATO or any other international organizations.”
Rosoboronexport trades with customers in 70 countries, Isaikin said. As for Turkey, it has already acquired Russia’s multirole helicopters Mi-17, BTR-80 armored personnel carriers, Kornet-E anti-tank guided missiles, small arms and ammunition.
Isaikin’s advisor, Anatoly Aksyonov, said Russian weapons were easy to adjust to NATO’s ammunition standards.
“This is not a problem to us, but we should see first if it is really worth doing,” he added.