President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
This meeting of the Military Technical Cooperation Commission is taking place in a somewhat new format: Mr Anton Vaino has taken on the responsibilities of deputy chairman of the Commission, and Mr Sergei Naryshkin has also joined the Commission. I am sure that these new members’ serious professional qualities and experience in administrative work will enable them to join in the Commission’s work effectively in this important and responsible field.
Turning now to our agenda, we will first of all discuss steps to maintain and bolster Russia’s position on the arms market. Our country is in solid second place in this sector, and among the five top countries in the sector, we are ahead of France, Germany and Britain. At the same time, we work on this market in what has always been a very competitive environment and we sometimes encounter unfair behaviour on the part of some of our partners.
I propose that we analyse the current trends on the global arms market today, including reduced global defence spending due to the difficult situation in the economy. At the same time, we also see growing activeness from new arms suppliers. Finally, customers’ interests are shifting from buying ready-made products to modern development and production, along with subsequent servicing, on their own territory.
We try to take all of these factors into account and offer our customers Russian arms and military equipment at an optimum ratio of price, quality, reliability, simplicity of use, and genuine effectiveness in actual combat use.
I remind you that the results for 2015 show that we delivered arms to 58 countries. Overall, we have partners in the military technical cooperation field in more than 100 countries, of which 98 have signed international agreements in this area with us.
Exports in the military technical cooperation sector remain high this year. Our orders portfolio remains high too, with orders worth more than $50 billion. I ask the actors in this sector and the state intermediary to take all measures needed to ensure stable demand for our goods.
We need to pay particular attention to where our exports are going. Entire regions in the world face the threat of growing violence and terrorism today. We all know examples such as Syria, Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Russia makes a major contribution to fighting international terrorism and reinforcing our allies’ defence capability, including that of our partners in the CSTO and the CIS.
We are ready to offer our customers the most advanced counterterrorism resources. This covers not just systems and equipment for close combat, but also military aircraft, missile defence systems, rocket artillery, armoured vehicles, in short, everything that can help to fight terrorists, who have established large and well-organised armed groups and often use competent specialists who have regular army training, and use modern weapons, including Western-made arms.
Let’s discuss these and other issues in detail now and start our work.