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Russian defense industry not viable without imports. Yet
Monday, 14 July 2014 19:41


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Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded to eliminate "gaps" in import substitution in the Russian military-industrial complex. According to the President, this must be done as soon as possible.

At a meeting of the commission on military-technical cooperation, Putin said:

"I know that the Ministry of Defense and the Government of the Russian Federation have worked all of these questions. I want to emphasize once again that this is fundamentally important for the program of re-equipment of domestic armed forces," said Putin. He set the task to remove gaps "in the shortest time possible."

"All of this is real, and it will all be done. And, apparently, of course, it will require additional money, but the money is real and is not going to be a burden for the budget," Putin said.

The problem of the import substitution in the Russian military-industrial complex became particularly relevant in connection with the Ukrainian crisis. The U.S. and several European countries (primarily Germany) either suspended or terminated cooperation with Russia. However, Russia has not suffered significant losses because of that. France, which preferred not to waive the contract for the delivery of Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia, showed that no one intends to refuse from serious multi-million contracts.

The situation with Ukraine is much more serious. Last month, Kiev authorities terminated military-technical cooperation with Russia. Who will suffer more from that is obvious. No one doubts the ability of Ukrainian rulers to cut the branch on which they sit.

But, of course, no one would deny the fact that the move can create problems for Russia too. It is possible to solve the problem, but the question is when and at what cost. It goes about domestic exports of weapons and military equipment abroad. Putin noted that the portfolio of export contracts for the supply of weapons and military equipment abroad increased by nearly $50 billion.

"I note that in the first six months of this year, the volume of shipments of Russian arms abroad totaled $5.6 billion. This is a solid and very impressive figure, and the total portfolio of export orders rose to nearly $50 billion," he said. Putin also stressed out the need to strengthen the presence of Russia on the global arms market, as well as the work to promote Russian arms exports.

And without addressing import substitution, this may not be come true.

It will take time to do this work the Head of the Department of Political Science and Sociology of the Russian Economic University named after Plekhanov, Andrey Koshkin said.

"If there is serious production in question, replacing it is not so simple. Yet, one can accelerate the process. Specifically, for example, one could employ the Ukrainian experts, who were involved in the production. They could definitely help," he noted.

"Production lines can not be created quickly, skipping through technological peculiarities. One should find land and build factories. This will take a lot of time," said the analyst.

"It is also possible to restructure ready enterprise. This is not so fast either. There are technological moments, which one can not omit, otherwise the products will not meet the standards of the defense industry," said Koshkin.

Anton Kulikov

Read the original in Russian 

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