Sales level of Russian military hardware is lower than its qualitative level

As to the level of sales on both the domestic and international markets, Russia's combat machines and ammunition hold the eighth place in the world, said Alexander Dondukov, deputy chairman of a related by-committee of the upper chamber of Russian parliament. "Today, Russian armaments can only compete with veneer and plastics", he said.

He links this situation to the lack of a clear-cut marketing policy. "If in the near future we do not begin to advertise Russian-made armaments, we are running a risk of sending the Russian military industry into as profound crisis", he noted.

The opinion of Dondukov was backed by Zinovi Pak, general director of the Russian Ammunition Agency. He said that Russia's prestige on the world military market is falling. "Our country cannot display novel weapons and updated combat machines", said Pak. To him, this problem is above all due to poor financing.

"In order to show the Russian defense sector's full potential participation in international exhibitions is a must. But for Russia it is too costly", said Pak. Expenses on the transportation of one tank come up to 1 million dollars. For this reason Russian organisations are not taking part in exhibitions or do so at only a minimally possible level.

As a way out it was proposed to hold international exhibitions in Russia. Many hopes are pinned on the Russian Expo Arms 2002, which is due to open on July 9 in Nizhni Tagil in the Southern Ural region. This exhibition will attract over 200 enterprises from 25 regions of Russia, Ukraine and Switzerland. More than 1,500 military hardware specimen will be on display.

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