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MOSCOW, March 14 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Defense Ministry and the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTS) have agreed to join forces to ensure arms delivered to the Russian army and their export variants are sold at the same prices, the FSMTS said on Thursday.
The Defense Ministry and the FSMTS will join forces to ensure Russian arms manufacturers maintain competitive pricing policies, and do not sell weapons abroad at dumping prices, the service says. The FSMTS is the state agency which oversees military cooperation with other states.
“This cooperation will ensure strict implementation of state pricing policy in the area of arms manufacturing, and will prevent companies from setting export prices lower than those for domestic customers,” the FSMTS said in a statement on its website.
According to the Defense Ministry, Russian arms manufacturers often offer their foreign clients “discount” deals to boost competitiveness in foreign defense tenders, thus damaging Russian interests in the arms trade by lowering profits.
“I think this agreement is aimed at ensuring that the Russian weapons are sold for real market prices, and the deals bring profits for both the companies and the state budget,” Russian military analyst Igor Korotchenko told RIA Novosti.
Russia, the world’s second-largest arms exporter after the United States, sold a record $15.16 billion worth of weaponry in 2012 while expanding its foreign client list, according to the FSMTS.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.