Russia’s 2012 arms exports up 12 percent despite Libya losses


Russia’s weapons exports rose 12 percent in 2012 to a record $15.2 billion, President Vladimir Putin said in remarks broadcast on Wednesday, despite losing billions of dollars in deals with Libya after the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Russia, the second biggest arms exporter after the United States, said its largest clients were in Asia.

Putin, speaking in televised remarks during a meeting with senior Russian officials, said Russia supplied weapons to 66 countries but gave no breakdown for 2012 exports, Reuters reports.

State arms exporter Rosoboronexport has said 43 percent of its 2012 exports went to Asia, with India, Vietnam and China among the top clients, while 23 percent went to the Middle East and North Africa and 18 percent to Latin America.

Russia supplied nearly $1 billion in arms to Syria in 2011, but Putin and other officials said last year that it was no longer delivering offensive weapons that could be used in the civil war.

The United States accounts for around 30 per cent of conventional global arms sales, according to Amnesty International.

Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said in February it sold weapons worth $12.9 billion in 2012. The figure did not include spare parts and services from private companies that do not go through Rosoboronexport.