Reuters reports President Dmitry Medvedev is urging the Russian military to import weapons from abroad in order to ensure its forces are properly armed.
The question is: what effect will this have on defence sales by the world’s second largest arms exporter? And what opportunity for Russia’s competitors?
The comments reportedly highlight increasing concern over Russia’s decrepit arms industry and raise doubts that Moscow can complete an ambitious military modernisation programme. “You shouldn’t buy junk,” Medvedev told Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, who oversees the defence sector for the government, at his residence just outside of Moscow. “If they (domestic arms makers) offer equipment which does not satisfy you, place your orders with other firms, or, ultimately, import them,” Medvedev said.
Russia signed an agreement last month to buy two Mistral class helicopter carriers from France in a 1.2 billion euro ($1.72 billion) deal, the first major foreign arms purchase in the two decades since the fall of the Soviet Union.
Russia’s once – proud defence industry that armed Soviet satellites and allies during the Cold War has stagnated due to lack of financing and corruption, Reuters adds.