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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:23, March 21, 2007
Putin confident of Russia becoming world's top arms exporter
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President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday Russia is well positioned to become the world's largest exporter of weapons.

Orders for Russian arms grew impressively in 2006 and "reached the 30 billion U.S. dollar mark," Putin told a meeting of the commission for military-technical cooperation with foreign states, the Interfax news agency reported.

"Not only Russian war planes are in demand today. Foreign experts are showing growing interest in air defense, naval and anti-tank systems," Putin said.

Russian arms exports have been growing in the past few years. They totaled 6.5 billion dollars last year, up about 20 percent from the previous year, and the country aims for 7.5 billion dollars in 2007.

"This shows that Russia confidently holds a place among the leaders on the global arms market and I am sure that we have every opportunity to build on this success," Putin said.

Russia's top priority in military cooperation with other countries is to develop new forms of cooperation, he said. He called for focusing on "the joint development and subsequent serial production of weapons for our own needs and for export."

Putin called maintenance and delivery of spare parts "a weak link in our work" and urged Russian companies to improve the quality of their spare parts and maintenance of the military equipment they export.

Source: Xinhua

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