Anatoli Baranov: Klebanov catches up with Brezhnev and outstrips him

Last year, Russia exceeded the volume of the arms trade which existed under the Soviet Union, Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov said yesterday at a news conference in Moscow. This may testify either to vice-premier’s ignorance or his pathological propensity for wishful thinking. Really, after becoming vice-premier supervising the military industrial complex and military cooperation, Mr. Klebanov stated the Russia would be scrambling for being 2nd in the world in arms and military equipment export. Mr. Klebanov promised that Russia arms export in 2000 would make up $5bn. At the same time, Great Britain, which is rated 2nd in the world after the US, sold its arms for the total of nearly $15bn that year. PRAVDA.Ru then pointed to Mr. Klebanov’s unrealistic predictions. In the end of 2000, Mr. Klebanov himself acknowledged that the arms export for that year made up $3,5bn. Having forgotten his promise, he called those results “magnificent.” Let’s leave it at that. But it is precisely known that USSR’s annual arms export was estimated at $18bn – a parameter second only to the US. So, why is Mr. Klebanov so sure that we have already outrun the USSR? Furthermore, Mr. Klebanov asserts that the Great Britain outstrips Russia by $1bn, although 12 minus 3.5 makes quite a different figure. Between Russian and Great Britain there are yet France and Israel. So, what on earth makes Mr. Klebanov so self-assured? It is only left for us to assume that Mr. Klebanov position in the cabinet is so strong that he can afford making any statements. In doing so, Mr. Klebanov has really caught up with Brezhnev’s USSR characterized by the joke: when the car stops, let’s curtain off the windows, let’s swing, have tea, and make believe we are riding.

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