Russia, Latin America deepen defence cooperation

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Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu concluded an official visit to Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba on Feb. 14. The trip, which did not include the signing of any new agreements for weapons sales, served to demonstrate Russia’s continued interest in Latin America at the same time NATO is increasing its presence in Eastern Europe.

Shoigu’s stop in Cuba also took on more significance after the recent steps taken by the United States to normalize relations with that country. It was Cuba that paved the way for Soviet weapons into South America. The volume of weapons and military equipment delivered from the Soviet Union to Cuba between 1961 to 1991 amounted to about $16 billion.

Russia and Nicaragua to sign several bilateral agreements in defense sphere

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Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has arrived in Nicaragua with an official visit. He will sign a number of bilateral agreements between Russia and the Central American nation.

“During his visit to Managua, the head of the Russian Defense Ministry will hold negotiations with commander-in-chief of the Nicaraguan Army General Julio Aviles,” head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s press service Major General Igor Konashenkov told journalists on Thursday. Shoigu will also have a meeting with Nicaraguan President Jose Daniel Ortega.

The issues of military and technical cooperation will be discussed, Konashenkov said. “It is also planned to sign a number of bilateral documents in the framework of the visit,” he added.

According to Russian Defense Ministry’s assessments, the relations between Moscow and Managua in the military sphere develop rather dynamically. The defense ministers of the two countries regularly hold meetings. In 2013, Russian cruiser Moskva for the first time called at a Nicaraguan port, while Long Range Aviation jets landed at local aerodromes.

Russia, Venezuela successfully develop military cooperation

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Russia and Venezuela have been successfully developing military and military-technical cooperation, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said after talks with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday.

Shoigu has described the talks with his Venezuelan counterpart Vladimir Padrino Lopez as “constructive and fruitful.” “We discussed a broad range of issues linked to military and military-technical cooperation,” Shoigu said.

The Russian defense minister, who is currently on a three-day Latin American tour, said the Russian and Venezuelan military cooperation is developing in line with strategic agreements between the two countries’ presidents.

Russia, India may launch joint weapons development and production projects

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Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that in the sphere of military and technical cooperation Russia and India may complement the traditional pattern of weapons supplies with joint development and production of advanced weapon systems.

“The high level of bilateral cooperation and trust allows us to start a gradual transition from the traditional producer-consumer model to joint development and production of advanced weapon systems,” Putin told India’s PTI news agency in an interview, adding that the supplies of military hardware and closer technological and industrial cooperation between the two countries would be discussed in detail in New Delhi on December 11. “We already have examples of such effective cooperation, by which I mean the production of high-precision up-to-date BrahMos missiles and creation of a multifunctional fifth-generation fighter aircraft.”

Russia writes off Uzbek debt, seeks new military sales

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Russia has written off nearly USD1 billion in debt from Uzbekistan with the aim of freeing up new lines of credit for the purchase of military equipment.

Russian president Vladimir Putin met Uzbek president Islam Karimov in Uzbekistan on 10 December when it was announced that Russia would reduce Uzbekistan’s debt from USD890 million to USD25 million, which the country would pay off in one lump sum. The move would allow for “opening new loans, in particular in the sphere of arms trade”, said presidential aide Yuri Ushakov, Russian news agencies reported.

It is not clear what deals may be in the offing between the two countries, but news agency Interfax noted that “because of the existing security threats in Uzbekistan, the country may be interested in purchasing helicopters, armoured vehicles, air-defence weapons and small arms made in Russia”.

Kaluga region companies to manufacture new products

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On October 23, 2014 Anatoly Artamonov, Kaluga Region Governor, held a  meeting of the Coordination Council for Industry and Technology at Algont ZAO, Kaluga. The key issue discussed at the meeting was import substitution.

The attendees noted that regional manufacturers started making steps to phase out imported products as the federal government drove relevant changes.  Directors of Kalugapribor OAO and Sosenskoe Instrument Making Plant, a branch of Science and Production Center named after Academician N.A.Pilyugin, said that their companies were ready to launch serial production of medical equipment  for the Russian healthcare institutions. The products are to be presented at a specialized exhibition to be held in Kaluga on October 31, 2014. Obninsk Chemical and Pharmaceutical Company ZAO develops new medicines. Algont ZAO and Micro Electronics Design Bureau ZAO design and manufacture intellectual products for the Russian market.

Russia, Brazil, South Africa discuss possibility of joint military products development

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Russia, Brazil and South Africa are considering a possibility of joint development of military purpose products, deputy director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Anatoly Punchuk said on Monday.

He is leader of the Russian delegation at Euronaval 2014 (International Naval Defence and Maritime Exhibition and Conference).

“In terms of BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] a series of major projects with India is being implemented now. South Africa shows more interest in cooperation with Russia in the joint development and production of military weaponry,” Punchuk said.

Russian firms looking to boost business with China

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Key Points

  • Russia’s aerospace industry is planning a major push at next month’s Air Show China in Zhuhai
  • Russia’s pariah status in relation to its interventions in Ukraine is forcing Moscow to consider relinquishing its engine and radar secrets in an effort to secure export orders from China

In contrast to the tone of previous years’ events, Russia’s military aircraft industry intends to make a major push to expand its long-running export sales relationship with China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at next month’s Air Show China.

At the biennial expo, which is held in Zhuhai in China’s southern Guangdong province, Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) intends to showcase the Sukhoi Su-35S ‘Super Flanker’.

Belarus to increase exposure to Russian military programme

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Belarusian military industries’ participation in the Russian defence programme is set to grow, with an emphasis on supplying integrated circuits for defence applications, the Belarus Ministry of Industry and Trade said on 13 August.

The enhancement of ties will specifically benefit the Integral factory network of Belarus, a group of research and production plants producing semi-conductor devices, display panels, and integrated circuits.

This follows a bilateral agreement between Minsk and Moscow in January this year to increase expenditure on joint military projects by more than 50% in areas ranging from space programmes to military modernisation efforts.

Russia and UAE Eye Joint Weapons Production

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Russia plans to produce weapons jointly with the United Arab Emirates, said Igor Sevastyanov, deputy general director of Rosoboronexport, Russia’s state-run arms export monopoly.

“There is an idea of working in cooperation with the UAE to produce weapons,” Sevastyanov said Wednesday.

The deputy added that the replacement of European components could take up to take a year.

“The replacement of the components that we purchase in Europe could take a year, maximum,” Sevastyanov said.