MOSCOW, December 27 (RIA Novosti)
- Russia ranked 2nd biggest global arms exporter – arms think tank
- Russia ready to support private arms makers
- Russian arms trader to raise exports by 11% in 2011
- ‘No ban’ on Russian arms supplies to Syria
- Russia to lend Venezuela $4 bln to pay for arms deals
- Russia ready to help Venezuela with weaponry purchases
Venezuela became the largest importer of Russian arms for ground forces in 2011, the Moscow based Center for Analysis of World Arms Trade (CAWAT) said on Tuesday.
Russia delivered a large consignment of arms to Venezuela under contracts signed in 2009 and 2010, CAWAT head Igor Korotchenko said without offering any figures.
In 2011, Venezuela bought an unspecified number of T-72B1 tanks, BMP-3M infantry fighting vehicles, BTR-80A armored personnel carriers, Msta-S 152-mm self-propelled howitzers, Nona-SVK 120-mm self-propelled mortars, Grad multiple rocket launchers, and an assortment of other weaponry, he said.
Next year Venezuela will launch licensed production of AK-103 assault rifles.
Venezuela is followed by India, Kazakhstan, the United Arab Emirates, Azerbaijan, Uganda, Bangladesh, China, Uruguay, and Turkmenistan, which bought 10 T-90S tanks.
Russia exports arms and military equipment to over 100 countries.
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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.