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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia set to export $9-$10 bln arms annually - regulator

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, February 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russia plans to export $9-$10 billion worth of arms annually over the coming years, the country's state arms regulator said on Monday.

"The stock of orders has kept growing," Mikhail Dmitriyev, head of the state service that oversees military contacts, said at a meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Industry and Trade Minister Viktor Khristenko.

"It has reached impressive figures that will allow Russia to retain its military exports at the level of $9-$10 billion for the next few years," Dmitriyev said.

He said the country's current arms orders amount to a total of $34 billion.

Russia sold weapons worth over $8.5 billion last year, including $7.4 billion via state arms exporter Rosobornexport, which is 10% up on the previous year. Rosoboronexport chief Anatoly Isaikin said sales would not decrease in 2010.

Isaikin earlier said arms exports had been on the rise and increased more than 140% in the period from 2001 to 2009.

Russia's combat aircraft accounted for some 50% of exports followed by anti-aircraft systems and navy weaponry and equipment.

Russia's main customers for arms were India, Algeria, China, Venezuela, Malaysia and Syria. Vietnam also emerged as a key importer after it signed a deal to buy submarines, aircraft and other military hardware from Russia late last year.

Putin urged efforts at the meeting on Monday to ensure copyright protection of Russian weapons, as well as supply the Russian Army and Navy with spare parts and modern arms.

Putin also said Russian arms producers could increase revenues by opening new markets.

"I hope this is not all our producers are capable of. Recent contracts point to their great prospects," he said.

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