Moscow plans to influence with 25% of exports of sector, but it suffers from reduction of purchases of indian and chinese
Russia has supplied 25% of global exports of weapons since 2000. China and India, ir main customers, have significantly reduced ir purchases in past few years, which has forced Kremlin to explore new markets in regions in which military spending is in full expansion. More than three million jobs in Russia are linked to manufacture of weapons, whose exports have remained stable since a decade ago, around 12,000 million euros a year, quadruple that at end of nineties.
- Russia exports a third of guns acquired in world
- Russia has reasons to feel threatened
After collapse of Soviet Union, arms industry russia entered a phase of “struggle for survival”, according to Siemon Wezeman, a senior researcher with International Institute of Stockholm for Peace Research (SIPRI, in its acronym in English). Wezeman explains that chaotic economic situation forced a collapse in domestic demand for armaments, which is joined to brake on imports of countries that left orbit of Moscow. After killing of Tiananmén in 1989, sanctions that EU imposed on China forced Beijing to engage in a marriage of convenience with Moscow. “This revitalized completely by arms industry of russia. Without growth of chinese economy, export of arms to Russian would be virtually zero,” says Wezeman by phone.
as of 2006, imports of Beijing were drastically reduced, mainly by ability of china to increase and develop significantly its production of armaments. “Copied designs for ir domestic production and already build warships more advanced than russians”, says expert. China is today third importer of weapons Russian, being aircraft engines and air defense systems of ir major purchases.
The main buyer of weapons worldwide, India, has also been first client of Moscow in last decade. Despite fact that continues to gain 38% of military equipment exported by Russia, recently New Delhi has begun to import us weapons.
In period in which China and India accounted for 70% of imports of weapons Russian, Kremlin has lost some of its major clients, including iraqi Saddam Hussein or Moammar Gadhafi, overthrown in 2003 and 2011 respectively, or saw frozen ir multi-million dollar contracts with Iran after UN sanctions on Tehran in 2006.
One out of every 25 jobs in Russia is linked to arms industry. “Exports are essential to its operation, are necessary investment to continue modernizing ir factories and produce new weapons and competitive,” explains Dutch researcher. Unlike manufacturers in europe, Russia is to be competitive in all sectors of arms industry, from Kalashnikov to nuclear submarines.
The weapons are first manufactured product exported by Russia and business is going to more: “it Is one of few sectors in which country is a pointer and it is anticipated that ir sales will increase coming years,” according to Wezeman. The proceeds from sale of hydrocarbons have plummeted in three years from 400,000 million euros per year to less than half, which gives even greater importance to sale of weapons.
“Russia is open to any potential buyer, especially if it is a producer of oil or gas,” says Richard Conolly, a researcher specializing in Russia at think-tank british Chatham House. Algeria, Vietnam and Venezuela have become major customers, although “uncertainty about future of "chavismo" and ties that Hanoi is establishing with Washington is concerned about Moscow”. “The intervention in Georgia in 2008 did not satisfy military leadership of russia, and motivated to explore new weaponry and become much more competitive,” according to british.
Russia has Recently managed to penetrate two markets previously unattainable, and copied by producers in western. Egypt has purchased 24 fighter MiG-35 and Turkey, sixth importer in world, announced a few days ago purchase of system of defence anti-aircraft S-400, most sophisticated in world. Souast asian countries like Philippines, Indonesia or Bangladesh are also in a phase of expansion arms and Russia aims to become a leading provider.
Although re are markets that are to resist him. The intervention in Syria in support of Bashar al-Assad has limited even more limited possibilities of Russia to sell weapons to Gulf monarchies, which have increased ir imports in last five years. However, effectiveness of new Russian arms on display in syrian conflict has attracted new buyers such as Pakistan or Egypt.