Syrian war triggers interest in Russian weapons

Russia earned 15.2 bln dollars in the 2019 arms trade. Over 50 countries purchased its hardware and weapons. The interest in Russian designs increased after their engagement in Syria. Deputy Defense Minister Colonel-General Alexander Fomin told the Izvestia daily about the main Russian partners, successes in the African market and the situation emerging after the collapse of arms control treaties.

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Russia is constantly receiving requests from foreign partners to share the experience of combat engagement of its weapons (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The military-technical cooperation with foreign countries is developing successfully despite the aggravated military-political situation and growing tensions in the world. In 2019, Russia entered a new level of military ties with several countries. In particular, military cooperation agreements were signed with Burkina Faso, Mali, Sudan, Surinam, and the Republic of Congo. Over a hundred countries have similar agreements with Russia.

Russia is paying priority attention to partnership and allied relations with post-Soviet countries. The main guideline is to ensure combat readiness and operation of Russian military bases in Armenia, Kirgizia, Tajikistan, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as well as military facilities in Belarus and Kazakhstan. They guarantee regional security. Russia is paying much attention to the development of the air defense created on a bilateral basis with Belarus, Armenia and Kazakhstan.

Russia provides major assistance and arms the friendly armies, mostly CSTO allies, with modern and compatible weapons and hardware. Educational establishments of the Defense Ministry teach the military from the countries either for free or on a privileged basis. Military interaction in the Union State of Russia and Belarus created a single defense space. A regional group of troops has been formed. The air defense has been organized and Zapad and Union Shield exercises are regularly held.

Contacts with Asia and the Pacific Rim have intensified of late. Besides old partners India and China, Russia achieved major success in military cooperation with Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia. Interaction is developing with the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia and other countries of the region. Since October 2018, Russian engineers have provided mine clearance assistance to Laos. They cleared over 112 hectares and neutralized close to 950 US bombs and mines remaining from the Vietnam war (that also hit Laos and Cambodia).

The Russian Defense Ministry actively interacts with partners on multilateral platforms in Asia and the Pacific Rim and participates in conferences of defense ministers of ASEAN and dialogue partners (SMOA plus). Russia focuses on the fight against terrorism in its framework.

Contacts intensified with Angola, South Africa, Rwanda, Mali, Tanzania, Mozambique, the CAR and other African countries after the Russia-Africa summit held in Sochi in 2019. A batch of Russian AKM rifles and cartridges was delivered in 2019 to anti-poaching commando units in Gabon.

In Latin America, Russia has such reliable partners as Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua.

In 2019, Russia retained the leading positions in the international arms market among the main exporters of weapons. It maintained military-technical cooperation with a half of the world countries. Close to 50 nations ordered Russian military products. Arms exports exceeded 15.2 billion US dollars.

Experts in the world are attentively watching the engagement of Russian arms in Syria. Many of them noted a high effectiveness of Russian weapons in the fight against international terrorism. Russia is constantly receiving requests from foreign partners to share the experience of combat engagement of its weapons.

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