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Russia sets record in arms export

December 18, 2012, 11:18 UTC+3

Arms deliveries were carried out to 65 countries

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Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Monday at a meeting of the Commission for Military Technology Cooperation with Foreign States (MTC) that the sum of contracts on the supply of arms concluded by Russia this year has exceeded 15 billion US dollars, and the profit from the deals has reached a record high figure of 14 billion US dollars.

The RF head of state stressed that the plan for 2012 was 13.5 billion US dollars, the Novye Izvestia daily writes.”This year, we are achieving a record level in the export of military products,” the president said. Arms deliveries were carried out to 65 countries, about 25 percent of the arms volume was exported to India, 15 percent – to Algeria, and large batches have also been sold to Venezuela and Vietnam. As for the product lines, aviation is in the lead, products for the Navy and Ground Forces take the second and third places, and air defence products are on the fourth position. The Rosoboronexport arms exporting company accounted for an overwhelming majority of the deliveries (81 percent), and 21 other subjects of military-technical cooperation accounted for the remaining 19 percent.

Vladimir Putin not only specified the sum of contract already concluded this year (15 billion US dollars), but also the earnings from the earlier transactions (14 billion US dollars), emphasises the Kommersant daily. “Russia will certainly continue to work with its traditional partners in the field of military technology cooperation, but it is equally important for us to enter new markets, expand the range of supplies and services,” said the president.

In general, according to sources of the publication that work in the Russian system of military technology cooperation, the situation has not changed, as compared to last year: the total order portfolio remains at about 40 billion US dollars (in 2010 - 50 billion US dollars). “For the next three years, our order portfolio will be maintained at this level,” a Kommersant source, close to the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation said. “In the future, the prospects are less rosy: with the absence of really big contracts, which were concluded, for example, with Algeria in 2006 (7.5 billion US dollars), the portfolio may be reduced two times.”

The list of the key partners, compared with the previous year, has not changed much - India, Algeria and Vietnam. Iraq, which concluded with Russia this year a contract on the supply of 42 Patsir-S1 air defence systems and 30 Mi-28NE attack helicopters, totalling 4.2 billion US dollars (that accounted for about 30 percent of all contracts), has joined the leaders.

However, the publication stresses, problems have already arisen with the implementation of the latter contract: on November 10, Iraqi prime minister’s assistant Ali Mousavi announced that the deal will be cancelled because of suspected corruption. According to the Kommersant daily, Moscow has immediately sent a formal inquiry to Baghdad demanding to explain the situation, but has not received an answer so far.

The newspaper’s source also noted that prospects for military technology cooperation with Libya are also in limbo: “They say they are willing to cooperate, however, there is no progress but talk.” According to the newspaper, Russia’s attempts to enter the markets of Angola and Nigeria have been unsuccessful. “Africa is generally a very complex region in which it is still rather difficult for us to gain a foothold,” said an official of the military-technological cooperation system. However, according to him, contacts with military Equatorial Guinea have become one of the major successes of the past year - in 2013 the parties may start specific negotiations on the ground forces and aviation issues.

This year, Russia and China have signed a contract on the supply of 140 AL-31F engines worth about 700 million US dollars, however, according to the Kommersant daily, Beijing is still trying to persuade Russia to sell them one battalion (eight launchers) of the S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft weapon system. However, the Russian Defence Ministry and the Federal Security Service (FSB) continue to veto the deal. “The Chinese need the technical elements of this system in order to create their own analogues on their basis,” said the source of the newspaper. “It’s a suicide to sell them the systems before our military get them in the required amounts.” “A similar situation exists with the Su-35 fighter jets - China wants to purchase a minimum batch (12 aircraft), but Russia insists on selling 30 fighters and the creation of their joint production facility: it will strengthen the process of monitoring over their creation.

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