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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian arms exports to pass $6 bln in 2008

RIA Novosti

09/07/2008 14:48 MOSCOW, July 9 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's arms exports are expected to exceed $6 bln this year, the chief executive of the state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport said Wednesday.

In an interview with the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily, Anatoly Isaikin said Russia's arms exports grew from less than $3 billion in 2000 to $6.1 billion in 2007.

"I believe that in 2008 we will exceed last year's level," he said.

Rosoboronexport puts the global arms market at $45-50 bln a year.

The Russian arms exporter has around $20 bln worth of contracts, which will ensure the operation of defense-industry enterprises for the next five to seven years.

Isaikin said Russia is encountering fierce competition in the international arms market.

Russia exports weapons to about 80 countries. Among key buyers of Russian-made weaponry are China, India, Algeria, Venezuela, Iran, Malaysia and Serbia.

The most popular types of weaponry bought from Russia are Sukhoi and MiG fighters, helicopters, battle tanks, armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles.

Russia also maintains traditionally strong positions in sales of small arms, and anti-tank and air-defense missile systems.

The United States has repeatedly called on Russia to stop arms deliveries to countries whose political regimes Washington disapproves of, including Iran and Syria.

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