Putin Says Syrian Civil War Boosting Russia’s Arms Sales Worldwide
Saving Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and making money from the sale of its weapons to other countries are the two major aims of Russia's armed intervention in Syria, said Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Putin said Russia's weapons exports are growing, largely due to their effective use by the Russian Aerospace Forces against al-Assad's opponents in Syria. He also said interest in Russian weapons has been growing around the world, which can be proven by the increase in the volume of contracts.
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"This is largely a result of the more effective use of our weapons in real combat conditions, including the anti-terrorist operation in Syria," said Putin.
"This opportunity for gaining a firmer foothold on the world market of armaments should not to be missed."
He revealed that Russian defense companies are almost completely loaded with orders from the Ministry of Defense so they have been facing difficulties in fulfilling orders related to military cooperation with other countries,
Putin said if Russia rejects foreign orders, Russia might lose prospective partners, as well as its place on the market.
Putin, however, failed to mention that Russia's arms exports sales are growing at an insignificant rate.
Russian arms exports amounted to some $15 billion in 2016, exceeding 2015's figures, which stood at $14.5 billion, said Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in a report addressed to the State Duma (lower house of parliament).
"We're the second-biggest player on the global arms market. Last year exports of products for military purposes exceeded $15 billion," said Medvedev.
He noted that "the new contracts signed (in the reporting period) amounted to $9.5 billion, while the stock of orders in end-2016 was worth around $50 billion."
Russian arms exports have remained flat since 2014. Before this year, however, arms exports rose rapidly from $6.12 billion in 2005 to $15.7 billion in 2013, according to data from the the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington D.C.
Those figures dropped to $14.5 billion in 2015 and then inched slightly upwards to $15 billion in 2016.