Russia, NATO cooperate in developing special counterterrorism weapons

Russia and NATO cooperate in developing special weapons for counterterrorism units, Sergei Chemezov, director general of the Rosoboronexport federal state unitary enterprise, told reporters.

"We hold joint conferences with NATO states at all police weapons exhibitions, including, first of all, MILIPOL, discuss potential enhancement of special counterterrorism assets and equipment", said the Rosoboronexport's director.

In his opinion, development of special counterterrorism weapons is one of the few spheres, where defense experts of Russia and NATO can come to common standards and develop unified armaments.

According to Mr. Chemezov, following the recent conference with NATO states on counterterrorism activities support, "our design bureaux and our enterprises were tasked to develop non-lethal weapons for counterterrorism operations".

"We have certain results in this area, and we conduct joint work with the foreign partners", said the Rosoboronexport's director.

He also noted that Russia's gunmakers have already launched production of NATO standard small arms. "We have already had such orders", Mr. Chemezov pointed out.

At the same time, he emphasized that "our Defense Ministry had no intentions to switch to NATO standards or adopt NATO materiel".

Nevertheless, for foreign customers, using both Russian and NATO materiel, the Rosoboronexport offers modifications of armaments designed for NATO standards. "For example, the MSTA self-propelled gun mounts a 155mm cannon, which fits NATO standards", explained Mr. Chemezov.

He pointed out that the Rosoboronexport had established very good cooperation with NATO states, in particular, Greece and Turkey recently.

Sergei Chemezov believes that very important is the Russian administration's political support of the national armaments export.

"We do have political support of the president and the government now. You have certainly noticed thatas soon as our country's leaders go anywhere, it immediately entails contacts and our advance in this direction. This is a customary and usual practice worldwide", explained Mr. Chemezov.

According to him, earlier the defense industry had a problem in terms of such support. "The former leaders believed that it was not 'the royal business' to promote national armaments to the world market", joked the Rosoboronexport's director.

As an example of intensive lobbying of national weapons manufacturers, Mr. Chemezov mentioned the combat aircraft procurement tender announced in Brazil. According to him, French President Jacques Chiraq was actively persuading the Brazilian government to make choice in favor of the Mirage 2000-5 fighter, the main competitor of Russia's Su-35 aircraft.

"We also try to use the influence of our country's leadership", said Mr. Chemezov. He honestly confessed to the reporters that, for example, for the defense minister's foreign visits "we prepared our issues as well". "And it helps", the Rosoboronexport's head pointed out.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team