Russia hopes to compensate for lost weapons markets by building new ones and expanding the geographic reach of its arms exports, head of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation Alexander Fomin said Tuesday.
“We are losing [weapons] markets and gaining new ones at the same time,” Fomin told journalists ahead of the Aero India-2013 international exhibition in Bangalor, where he is heading the Russian delegation.
“We lost a lot of markets, unfortunately, to tragic events, connected to political conflicts, civil wars in the Middle East, Maghrib, and North Africa. Cooperation with Libya has been halted — temporarily, I hope. There’s a temporary drop in deliveries. Though we are in touch with Egypt and Iran. We’re prevented from working with Syria, that’s a fact. We lost Iraq. We’ve almost lost Afghanistan,” Fomin said, Interfax reported.
Despite setbacks, however, Russian arms manufacturers have managed to develop new markets in Venezuela and Peru, as well as in places forgotten since Soviet times, like Mali, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Oman, Fomin said.
He attributed the current trend to a tense international situation and a “redrawing of the world’s map,” adding that Russian-made arms would nonetheless remain competitive on the international level.
“We have plenty of problems, of course, but so do our competitors,” he said.
Russia’s overseas arms sales exceeded $14 billion in 2012, making it the world’s second-largest arms exporter after the United States.
The Moscow Times