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Russia's arms exports could exceed $5.5 bln in 2007

RIA Novosti

26/11/2007 09:54 MOSCOW, November 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russia may set a new record in sales of military equipment to foreign states, with exports estimated at over $5.5 billion in 2007, state-controlled arms exporter Rosoboronexport said on Monday.

"Last year, we reached a record level of $5.3 billion. This year, we are planning to set a new record and increase arms exports to $5.5 billion," company general director Sergei Chemezov said in an interview with Nezavisimaya gazeta daily.

Russia has almost doubled annual weaponry exports since 2000, and some experts estimate this year's sales could far exceed the projected figures.

Mikhail Petukhov, deputy head of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, said on November 11 at the Dubai Air Show that overall exports, including supplies of spare parts under previous contracts, could total about $7 billion.

"The existing portfolio of orders and the growth trend allow us to hope for arms exports at a level of around $7 billion in 2007," Petukhov said.

Russia exports weapons to about 80 countries. Among Rosoboronexport's key buyers are China, India, Algeria, Venezuela, Iran, Malaysia and Serbia.

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