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Russia exported a record $6 billion of weapons in 2005, defying predictions of a slow-down, and exceeding Moscow’s target by 25%.
The number of countries procuring arms from Russia also increased to 61.
Another report indicated that President Putin himself had become Russia’s most effective arms salesman. For example, industry analysts said Mr. Putin overcame reservations and won contracts from countries such as Algeria ($7.5 billion for aircraft and tanks), Iran ($4 billion over the next few years), Morocco, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
“Putin is a man willing to roll up his sleeves and close a deal,” a Russian industry source said. “There’s never been anyone as forceful as him on the issue of arms exports. More than any of his predecessors, Putin knows how to translate political and economic influence into arms sales. He has made arms sales a major element in bilateral relations, particularly with the Middle East.”
Some expect Turkey (a NATO member and long-time U.S. ally) to be Mr. Putin’s next target.
Source: The World Tribune