Skip to comments.Russia Says It's Ready to Arm Saudi Arabia
Posted on 02/09/2005 4:29:17 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
Moscow is preparing its first major defense contract with Saudi Arabia, the world's largest arms buyer that has traditionally spent its petrodollars on U.S.-made weapons.
The deal is part of a strategy aimed at diversifying Russia's arms buyers away from China and India, Sergei Chemezov, general director of state-owned arms exporter Rosoboronexport, told reporters Wednesday.
Russia also signed an arms contract with Morocco last month, he said, the first since the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Chemezov refused to give any details, but said that Russia is stepping up negotiations with Middle Eastern countries for jointly developing air defense systems on the basis of the domestically produced S-300, Buk and Tor-M1 systems.
"If a contract with Saudi Arabia is signed, it will be a landmark event in Russian arms exporting," said Marat Kenzhetayev, an expert with the Center for Arms Control.
From 1991 to 2002, Saudi Arabia imported $93 billion worth of weapons, Kenzhetayev said, while Morocco imported $1 billion.
In that same period of time, Riyadh signed $40 billion worth of arms contracts, of which $28 billion flowed to the United States and not a penny went to Russia, he said.
After U.S.-Saudi relations dampened following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the situation now seems to be swinging in Russia's favor, Kenzhetayev said.
While Moscow already sells arms to Middle Eastern countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Iran, Kuwait and Algeria, a deal with the Saudis could push its neighbors Jordan and Oman to sign Russian contracts as well, Kenzhetayev said.
For Moscow, which sells arms to 59 countries, finding new customers is important as it tries to diversify away from major clients China and India, which account for 80 percent of Russian arms sales.
"We have reached the ceiling of $5 billion to $6 billion in annual arms sales abroad," Chemezov said. "We have to change something drastically."
Last year, Rosoboronexport, which mediates over 90 percent of the country's arms deals, delivered $5.1 billion worth of arms out of $5.8 billion exported by Russia as a whole.
Rosoboronexport has orders of $12 billion through 2007, but Chemezov said that this year Rosoboronexport can expect to make $1 billion less in revenues.
"The reason? Our companies cannot produce more modern weapons. [The industry] is in need of investment either from private companies or from the state," he said. "Today we sell weapons that were designed in the late 1970s and early 1980s."
Rosoboronexport plans to boost control over defense production by placing its directors on the boards of arms makers and buying stakes, Chemezov said.
Chemezov said that all sales are strictly in line with international agreements and do not violate any United Nations sanctions.
"However, if some country, including the United States, makes its own decision [on sanctions], pardon us, we are not obliged to do as America says," Chemezov said.
Last month, Israel and the United States expressed concern about the possible sale of SA-18 surface-to-air missiles to Syria.
Asked whether any such contract was discussed during Syrian President Bashar Assad's recent visit or is planned, Chemezov said: "No."
Russians arm every one who pays them few milion dollars
Translation: Saudi Arabia is preparing to do something nasty to the USA and they are changing their principle arms supplier.
Israel loves destroying Russian hardware.
There was a thread on here around two years ago suggesting that we buy the Su-27. Actually made sense. The Russkies don't make great washing machines, but they can make some pretty good planes. ;^)
Now just why would my neighbor sell the crack dealer a
Russia's Military Involvement in the Middle East
By Oksana Antonenko
Because the enemy of his enemy is you?
Like the area is not already awash with failed Russian Arms.
If I were the Saudis I would be worried about who was going to fly and shoot those things rather than buying more of them.
The pampered sons of that country are too busy chasing blond western women to actually incur any risk that might accrue to a military person. That runs the risk of having the Terrorists in their midst with a better army than the government.
Something is coming.
I suspect the Saudi military is all Pakistani, Filipino, and Egyptian...no one of Saudi background would do any of the dirty work...
AFAIK, they are well armed with the latest in American ground and air technology, a lot of it sold since Desert Storm. Whether or not they're capable of maintaining it without American aid is another question. It goes without saying that the Israelis won't help them.
Wrong. The proper translation is that the US has told Saudi Arabia that they better clean up thier act and hold elections or the hardware spiggot will be closed tight!
Net effect is the same, they are looking for alternatives - and to some degree, they are probably pretending to look so as to worry the US.
I doubt GWB gives a rip.
Now let's see -- let's logic this thing out.
Saudis don't really need arms for anything -- who is their enemy? (other than the Jews). So maybe they are BROKERING arms for one of thier buddies, that nobody would sell to directly (with exceptions as we know) -- how about IRAN ??
send article to Capt Davis
Their guts turned to water when they thought Saddam was coming for them from Kuwait.
No way, I seriously doubt they have anything planned. The Saudi's are way too dependent upon us to even think about it. They are probably preparing themselves in case we pass some legislation limiting our own arms sales to them.
That's true, the Saudi doesn't really have a military, they have mercenaries. That's why their spending more and more on short range missiles.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.