President Vladimir Putin said Monday Russia has exported arms worth 5.6 billion U.S. dollars in the first six months of the year, and that the overall portfolio of export orders has grown to nearly 50 billion dollars.
Calling the export volume “very impressive and substantial,” Putin urged the state commission for international military- technical cooperation to further promote Russian arms.
“It is important to facilitate advance of our international existing and prospective ties in that sphere, increase Russian presence on the global arms market,” he said.
In particular, the president said Russia should remain one of leading suppliers of naval vessels in the world.
“Market potential of this product is very big … Countries in the world plan to allocate around 100 billion dollars to re-equip their fleets within next few years,” Itar-Tass news agency quoted Putin as saying.
Noting the level of competition in vessel market was “very high,” he instructed the commission to “follow attentively all tendencies in this sphere” and work out concrete proposals on expanding Russia’s market share.
In addition, Putin reiterated the urgency of replacing foreign military-related import by similar domestic production, a policy which becomes necessary after Russia’s spat with Ukraine, a traditional supplier of spare parts and systems for Moscow’s armed forces.
Russia, already the world’s top arms exporter, sold some 15.7 billion dollars’ worth of weapons abroad — primarily guns, missiles and fighter jets — in 2013. Last year, Russia finished second only to the United States by the arms sales volume.
Russian-made weapons are supplied to 66 countries, and Moscow has military-technical cooperation agreements with 85 countries.