Russia's Arms Sales in 2009 Evaluated at $7.4 Billion

In 2009, Russia’s defense export giant Rosoboronexport sold arms in the amount of $7.4 billion, the company’s director Anatoly Isaikin told RIA Novosti news agency. In the future, Russia plans to increase the export of arms and would even be ready to sell weapons to Iraq and Afghanistan, the official said.

“We’ve recently had a corporate meeting at the company and discussed the results of 2009. We achieved good results in 2009. The sales volume of Rosoboronexport made up $7.4 billion, which marked a ten percent increase in comparison with 2008,” Isaikin said.

The company’s export had increased 2.4 times from 2001 to 2009, he added. Today Rosoboronexport ships Russian-made military hardware to over 70 countries of the world.

“We offer new military hardware, technologies and joint production. We believe that the sales volume in 2010 will not be less than that in 2009,” the official said.

Air force weaponry made 50 percent of the company’s shipments to such basic importers as India, Algeria, China, Venezuela, Malaysia and Syria.

In 2008, Russia’s arms shipments to foreign customers were evaluated at $8.35 billion, of which $6.72 billion was the share of Rosoboronexport’s deals.

The business portfolio of the company for 2010 makes up over $34 billion.

“Russian arms enjoy great popularity with several members of NATO. They are Turkey, Greece and the countries of the Eastern bloc that have Soviet-made arms. The countries that intend to become NATO members evince interest in Russian defense technologies as well,” Isaikin said.

As for cooperation with Eastern Europe, the head of Rosoboronexport stated that those countries offer to modernize and repair their hardware.

Rosoboronexport would be ready to ship arms to Iraq and Afghanistan too, once the company receives adequate inquires from the US administration.

“Official spokespeople for Iraqi and Afghan armed forces send us their requests. We are ready to cooperate with them. An adequate decision will lead to adequate shipments,” Isaikin said.

As for Russia’s deal to sell S-300 missile complexes to Iran, Isaikin said that there had been no legal action taken to prohibit the deal.

“There are no international sanctions against Iran, which means that formally there are no bans to ship any type of arms to Iran,” Isaikin told Interfax.

Iran still remains Russia’s partner in the defense industry. “Iran has never broken any contractual obligations,” the head of Rosoboronexport said.

China is the only country in the world that acquired a license from Russia for production of Kalashnikov assault rifles.

“The issue of counterfeit production and illegal copying remains very important in the whole world in terms of both military and civil production. Other countries, such as Bulgaria and Slovakia, used to run the licensed production of Kalashnikov guns.

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov