Opportunities for developing military technical cooperation with the BRICS Group countries and Vietnam were the main subject of discussion, with particular attention focusing on improving the legal framework for military technical cooperation and raising the effectiveness of intergovernmental commissions’ work.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
Today, we will discuss how to make our military technical cooperation with foreign countries more effective. Russia is one of the most active players on this global market and we are firmly in second place overall in terms of arms exports around the world.
We value our reputation as an honest and responsible partner in military technical cooperation. Russia signs arms and military equipment contracts only with lawful and legitimate governments and only for the purposes of ensuring sovereign defence capability. In carrying out our work in this area we always make a comprehensive assessment of the specific situation in each particular part of the world. Far from all of the big arms exporters take as scrupulous an attitude as we do in this area.
Our position is that only sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council are justifiable grounds for not selling arms to particular countries. In all other cases no one has the right under any pretext to dictate to Russia or any other country with whom and how it may conduct trade.
”Russia signs arms and military equipment contracts only with lawful and legitimate governments and only for the purposes of ensuring sovereign defence capability.“
Unilateral or collective bans and restrictions that are outside the UN Security Council framework — all the more so when politically motivated — are not international legal norms with the consequences that ensue. Russia will continue to develop its military technical cooperation and will unfailingly carry out all of its obligations.
I note that our current export contracts are all being performed exactly as planned. Over the first nine months of this year we delivered military goods worth a total value of $10.7 billion. This accounts for around 80 percent of the total contracts planned for this year. We forecast a slight increase in arms and military equipment exports this year as compared to 2011. Now we need to bolster this positive trend.
Competition on the modern arms and military equipment market is extremely intense. We therefore need to make use of qualitatively new approaches and show flexibility and ability to make timely responses. This is the basis upon which we will develop our military technical cooperation with our partners from the BRICS Group – Brazil, India, China, and South Africa, and also with Vietnam. We will discuss all of this in detail today.
The BRICS countries have been steadily gaining in political, economic and technological weight over these last years and have been posting stable, high growth rates. Between them, the BRICS countries account for 43 percent of the world’s population and around a fifth of global GDP.
We have established a constructive dialogue within the group and are successfully coordinating action on a broad range of issues on the global and regional agendas. We are actively developing our trade and investment ties.
As far as military technical cooperation goes, India and China are both longstanding key partners for Russia. We see good prospects for developing this area of relations with Brazil and South Africa too.
Vietnam is another longstanding partner of ours in this sector. There was a hiatus in the 1990s, but now we are steadily building up our military technical cooperation once again.
”Deepening civilised, honest and mutually-advantageous partnership in the military technical cooperation sector gives us a very valuable instrument for guaranteeing our foreign policy interests.“
Given the growing technological, industrial and scientific potential of the countries I mentioned, our military technical cooperation with them can and must move to a qualitatively new level.
What do I mean by a qualitatively new level? I am referring to deeper production cooperation and joint R&D, establishing effective maintenance and post-sale service systems, and working together to enter third countries’ markets.
As you know, our cooperation with India is not limited to delivering ready-made models of our defence industry’s goods. Joint R&D work and licensed production, including for supply to other countries, are also gaining more importance.
There are clear advantages here: joint production makes it possible to cut production costs, obtain and introduce new technology, including dual-purpose technology, and organise a rational system for transferring technology from the defence to the civil sector.
At the same time, Russian manufacturers’ intellectual property rights and the globally recognised Russian brands must be fully protected from unlawful copying.
We should also use military technical cooperation mechanisms for obtaining foreign technology and individual samples needed for developing our own defence industry.
I think we all realise that simply purchasing foreign military goods without mastering the production process here in Russia itself does not make sense.
On another issue, we also need to improve the legal framework for military technical cooperation and update our bilateral and multilateral agreements in line with today’s reality. Most important of all, we need to develop a long-term cooperation programme.
We need to raise intergovernmental commissions’ effectiveness in order to strengthen coordination with our key partners, and arrange regular meetings between experts and specialists.
In general, deepening civilised, honest and mutually-advantageous partnership in the military technical cooperation sector gives us a very valuable instrument for guaranteeing our foreign policy interests. This is an integral part of our efforts to counter global threats and challenges. As you know, the Executive Order on implementing Russia’s foreign policy set out the tasks in this area.
I ask you to keep in mind that the approach I have outlined in military technical cooperation, especially as concerns work with our traditional partners, is a priority.
Let’s discuss all of this now.