Russia’s arms exports up 12 percent

Moscow, April 4 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia’s global arms exports reached $15.2 billion in 2012, a 12 percent increase against the previous year, President Vladimir Putin said.

In December, Putin said Russia’s overseas arms sales had exceeded $14 billion, outperforming forecasts by more than $500 million.

“Last December, we spoke about the preliminary results in the sphere of military and technical cooperation, and agreed to establish the final results in 2013,” Putin said Wednesday at a session of the State Commission for Military and Technical Cooperation with Foreign States.

The president said that “growth reached 12 percent and the total value of arms exports from the Russian Federation to partner states was $15.2 billion”.

“This is one of the best indicators in this sphere, and we may say with all confidence that the Russian Federation is one of the unconditional leaders in the sphere of arms and special equipment sales,” he said, adding that only the US is ahead of Russia in this sphere.

The US, the world’s biggest arms trader, has not yet officially announced the value of its arms exports for 2012, but the average annual figure has stood at some $30 billion since 2008.

Putin also said that Russia currently supplies arms and military equipment to 66 countries, has concluded agreements on military and technical cooperation with 85 countries and its portfolio of orders for defence-related products currently stands at $46.3 billion.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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