Russian arms to win Arab markets

Russia is set to win new defence markets in Arab world, many of which were previously dominated by western countries. The defence exhibition in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, revealed high interest in Russian weaponry.

“Russia is beginning to enter new arms markets where its presence was previously considered as hardly probable,” said Mikhail Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Federal Service for Military and Technical Co-operation, at the opening of Idex-2009 on Sunday.

Dmitriev told journalists that big deals had been signed between Russia and Algeria, while co-operation with Libya and Syria is a step closer; Qatar and Kuwait are also displaying interest in Russia’s defence and military developments as are some other countries in the Persian Gulf.

The latest developments in Russian ammunition are represented by about 30 military-defence enterprises at the exhibition in Abu Dhabi. Russia has participated in the exhibition since 1993.

The most popular types of weaponry bought from Russia are Sukhoi and MiG fighters, warships, air defence systems, helicopters, battle tanks, armoured carriers and infantry combat vehicles.

Russia exports weapons to more than 80 countries. The key buyers of Russian weaponry are China, India, Algeria, Venezuela, Iran, Malaysia and Serbia.

In 2008 Russia exported arms worth $US 8 billion and is planning to increase arms exports by 6 per cent in 2009 (up to $US 8.5 billion).