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Russian Arms Sector Needs New Markets To Survive
By MARIA GOLOVNINA, REUTERS, MOSCOW
Russia’s ailing arms sector urgently needs to find alternative export markets because it is losing its traditional Cold War-era clients, a senior defense official and analysts said on June 16.
The industry still relies heavily on exports to Moscow’s long-standing allies in Asia, but Alexander Brindikov, a senior official at state arms export company Rosoboronexport, said the good days would soon be over.
“The Chinese and Indian markets, our key clients, will disappear in a few years, that is in 2007-2008,” he told the Vedomosti business daily.
Sukhoi, MiG and other fighter jets make up about two-thirds of Russia’s defense sales but the fragmented nature of the industry has held back its recovery from the post-Soviet slump.
Brindikov told Izvestia that finding new markets in Latin America, southeast Asia and the Middle East could help offset some of the losses Russia might incur in China and India.
But Russia is not firmly entrenched in any of its potential new markets, which makes it difficult for exporters to diversify export destinations quickly, analysts say.