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Western hopes to disarm Russia hopeless
Monday, 07 July 2014 18:23
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President Vladimir Putin, at a meeting of the Commission on military-technical cooperation between Russia and foreign countries, said that the volume of Russian arms shipments abroad in the first six months of this year totaled $5.6 billion. The total portfolio of export orders rose to nearly $50 billion, he added. The President urged "to strengthen the presence of Russia on the global arms market."

Evaluating the figures, the President called them "very impressive and solid." For comparison, in 2013, Russia reportedly sold arms worth $15.7 billion, while the order portfolio amounted to about $35 billion. A year earlier, in 2012, Russia exceeded the arms exports plan by 11.8 percent. As a result, the amount received from the sale of arms made up 15.16 billion dollars, and the package of orders exceeded $46 billion.

In March, it was reported that since the beginning of 2014, revenues from arms exports accounted for two billion dollars, whereas the portfolio of export arms orders exceeded $47 billion. In May, it was said that the portfolio was still growing: it exceeded the level of 49 billion dollars, which marked a triple increase in over ten years.

Putin said that it was a "record" achievement. He said that he was satisfied with Russia's position on the global arms market, where the country "firmly holds the second place", following the United States.

During the meeting on July 7th, the head of state urged officials to promote Russian arms exports and "fill the gaps" in import substitution in the defense industry. According to Putin, the problems should be solved "as soon as possible." "This is fundamentally important primarily for the domestic program of the re-equipment of the Armed Forces," he said.

"All of this is real, everything will be done," assured the President, recognizing that the initiatives "will require additional funds that will not be problematic for the budget.

During the meeting, the president also noted that it was now important to ensure the ongoing development of the entire system of military-technical cooperation, "our established and emerging international relations in this sphere, strengthening Russia's presence on the global arms market." According to him, "it certainly should help domestic defense companies expand and upgrade their production, create new quality jobs."

He offered the audience to discuss the issue of increasing the effectiveness of military-technical cooperation with foreign countries, as well as "to consider separately the problems of naval equipment supplies."

"About 400 ships and submarines of the Russian production are in service in 27 armies of the world. Our shipbuilders, designers, engineers and workers prove that Russia can design and produce most complex high-tech products," said the president.

Over the past five years, "Russia has become the leader in export of ships and takes 27 percent of the world market. Russian submarines, frigates, missile boats, minesweepers and coastal complexes are in demand abroad and successfully resist competition," said the president. As an example, he referred to the aircraft carrier that was repaired, upgraded and delivered to India in November 2013.

"Today, the share of naval equipment accounts for about 15 percent of the portfolio of export orders of the Russian defense industry," said the president, noting that the market potential of this product was very large, just like the level of competition.

Analysts of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute included the Russian Federation on the list of the countries that became the largest suppliers of weapons from 2009 to 2013. Russia accounts for 27 percent of global arms exports, following the U.S. with 29 percent.

At the same time, several countries have recently refused from military cooperation with Russia over Moscow's reunion with the Crimea. London withdrew several licenses for the delivery of military goods to Russia, such as uniform fabric, and various small parts for helmets. The supplies were evaluated at 37 million pounds.

Berlin, in turn, decided to suspend military cooperation with Russia in March and April of this year. In addition, Germany insisted on the suspension of the construction of a military training center in Nizhny Novgorod. The contract is worth 100 million euros.

Noteworthy, France does not wish to say a decisive "no" to military cooperation with Moscow. Western allies have tried to convince Paris not to supply Mistral vessels to Russia, but, given the terms of the contract, such a decision would be too costly for the French.

It was also reported that Iraq decided to terminate the contract with Russia for the supply of 48 anti-aircraft missile and gun complexes Panzer-S1 and 36 combat helicopters Mi-28NE totaling $4 billion. However, the head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, Alexander Fomin, denied the rumors.

After the introduction of economic sanctions against Russia, Moscow announced an intention to develop new markets, in particular of East Africa and Latin America. It was said that new partners were interested in rotorcraft, S-400 "Triumph", as well as aircraft, small arms and radar systems "Sunflower-E."

Defense officials from the Philippines and Pakistan evinced interest in the so-called Rogozin rifle, advertised by Putin and Steven Seagal. The countries offered to test sniper rifle ORSIS T-5000 on their territory. Similar proposals came from Malaysia and Indonesia.

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