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Premier points to Russia’s arms exports reaching $15 bln in 2016

The premier notes Russia’s arms exports amounted to $15 bln last year, exceeding 2015’s figures

MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. Russia’s arms exports amounted to $15 bln last year, exceeding 2015’s figures, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in a report addressed to the State Duma (lower house of parliament) on Wednesday.

"We’re the second-biggest player on the global arms market. Last year exports of products for military purposes exceeded $15 bln (versus $14.5 bln in 2015 - TASS)," he said, adding that "the new contracts signed (in the reporting period) amounted to $9.5 bln, while the stock of orders in end-2016 was worth around $50 bln."

Civilian products

 The government expects the defense-industrial complex to increase the output of civilian products by 30% percent over several years to come.

"We expect the defense-industrial complex enterprises to increase the output of civilian products by 30% in several years to come," Medvedev said, adding that this would require systemic measures.

"We have identified them. Firstly, there are various incentives we will establish for the defense-industrial enterprises, including the subsidizing of loans," Medvedev said. "Secondly, I do not rule out that some restrictions may be imposed on the import of certain categories of foreign products just for the sake of supporting domestic manufacturers. This is nothing illegal about that," Medvedev said, adding that such a measure should not be used to the detriment of individual branches of the economy or consumers.

Support for exporters is another proposed measure. Medvedev believes that Vneshekonombank, the Russian Export Center and the Industrial Development Fund are to make their contributions.

"In that case we will have an advanced and diversified defense-industrial complex, which will be making good armaments and at the same time building up its civilian component," Medvedev said. "A reverse process has begun. Many military solutions emerge as a result of progress in civilian technologies. What I have in mind is this. If we develop the defense-industrial complex’s civilian segment, we will thereby help it cope with its tasks to create military technologies," Medvedev said.