President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
In May this year we marked the 65th anniversary of military technology cooperation with foreign states. I would like to use the occasion of our meeting to once again congratulate our weapon designers and producers, the engineers, workers and veterans of the Russian defence industry on this date. It is thanks to their selfless labour that Russia has not only preserved but also strengthened its leading position on the global arms market, primarily in the high-tech sector, amid tough competition.
Relying on our rich experience in this sphere, we must continue to consistently build up our military technology cooperation with foreign states. Our capabilities in the military technical sphere must be used to modernise and upgrade all our industries, to support our science and to create a powerful technological potential for the country’s dynamic development.
We have several issues on the agenda of today's meeting of the Commission for Military Technology Cooperation with Foreign States. We will also discuss measures to develop military technology cooperation.
In recent years, Russia’s export of military products has been at a consistently high level, around $15 billion.
Our capabilities in the military technical sphere must be used to modernise and upgrade all our industries, to support our science and to create a powerful technological potential for the country’s dynamic development.
Russian manufacturers have the advantage of an unfailingly high quality of products, which have no analogue in their combat and technical characteristics. Russia values its reputation of being a conscientious and responsible participant in military technology cooperation. We strictly observe international norms and principles in this area. We supply weapons and military equipment solely in the interests of security, defence and anti-terrorism efforts. In each case, we thoroughly assess the situation and try to predict the developments in the specific region. No bilateral contracts are ever targeted against third countries, against their security interests.
The changing conditions in which we have to trade in military equipment require some adjustment of existing approaches and development of a new integrated strategy for the future.
We will certainly continue to closely follow the trends of the global arms market, to offer our partners new flexible and convenient forms of cooperation. This is all the more important in the current conditions, when our competitors often resort to unfair methods such as putting pressure on or blackmailing customers, also through the use of political sanctions, so as to force them to buy their military equipment, even though it is more expensive and inferior to our products in quality.
A new factor is the growing interest from foreign customers in modern research and development and design projects, as well as in setting up military products manufacturing at home. We certainly try to consider their needs. Over the past five years, the volume of joint R&D projects to upgrade or develop new types of weapons has increased by 35 percent.
At the same time, the changing conditions in which we have to trade in military equipment require some adjustment of existing approaches and development of a new integrated strategy for the foreseeable future. In a word, in military technology cooperation, we have both serious achievements and an understanding of the large tasks facing us.
Today we will discuss these specific issues in the most important area of our cooperation and make the necessary decisions.