MOSCOW ø Russia has reported $5.4 billion in defense exports
Officials said the figure set another record for Russia's defense
industry and marked a $1 billion increase from 2002. They said exports in
2004 would again reach $5 billion.
As in previous years, China and India remain Russia's main weapons
clients, officials said. Last week, Russia announced a $1.5 billion sale of
an aircraft carrier and 28 MiG-29K fighter-jets for India.
But officials said the state weapons export agency Rosoboronexport would try to complete major arms
deals in the Middle East, particularly North Africa and the Gulf, during
2004, Middle East Newsline reported.
Rosoboronexport said Russia delivered arms to 52 countries in 2003. The
agency said the biggest seller was air defense systems and naval platforms.
Rosoboronexport reported $5.1 billion in
sales for 2003. The agency handles 94 percent of all Russian defense
Rosoboronexport said its $5.1 billion figure includes the last deals
completed by the agency in 2003. In December
2003, Rosoboronexport reported an interim export figure of $4.7 billion, but
said this could rise to $5 billion if unspecified sales materialize at the
end of the year.
In a statement on Monday, Rosoboronexport said it reached a record
defense export year of $5.1 billion in 2003. The agency exported $4.2
billion in defense products in 2002.
"India and China still remain the strategic partners for Russia,"
Rosoboronexport director-general Andrei Belyaninov said. "But
Rosoboronexport continued to expand the geographical spread of its
Industry sources said Rosoboronexport's backlog of orders has now
reached $13 billion. In 2002, Russia reported defense export revenues of
$4.5 billion and deliveries worth $4.8 billion.