MILITARY-TECHNICAL ADVANCES IN ZHUKOVSKY

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MILITARY-TECHNICAL ADVANCES IN ZHUKOVSKY

Vremya Novostei, August 20, 2001, p. 2

The Moscow International Air Show in Zhukovsky, which ended yesterday, was the most important event in the sphere of Russia’s military-technical cooperation with foreign states. Ordinarily, such events are not used for signing contracts. The Moscow International Air Show this year was no exception. All the same, negotiations over military-technical cooperation were active. A preliminary accord was signed with three states for Russian-Ukrainian AN-70s transport planes.

Moreover, Raspletin’s Almaz company held talks with potential customers for the air defense systems it produces. Its General Director Alexander Lemansky says that meetings were arranged with representatives of Vietnam, Venezuela, Kuwait, and some other Arab states. Negotiations took place with Syria, Jordan, India, and China.

The question of how much Russia would earn by exporting arms and military hardware was discussed. Sergei Chemezov, Senior Deputy General Director of the Rosoboroneksport, Russia’s biggest arms exporter, says the company will meet its target of exporting $3.2 billion worth of arms this year. The company has already paid $2.8 billion to the federal treasury in 2001. It seems that Chemezov is right, and the company will indeed fulfill its plans.

A RALLY TAKES PLACE IN MOSCOW

Moskovsky Komsomolets, August 20, 2001, p. 2

Muscovites who met near the Russian White House to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the failed coup came up with the initiative of an annual celebration of the Day of the Free People of Russia.

Only about 200 Muscovites attended the democrats’ rally. Its organizers blamed the municipal authorities, which granted permission for the rally only four days before the event.

However, pollster say that Muscovites do not care to remember the events of a decade ago. According to a poll done by the Public Opinion Foundation, 14% of respondents can’t remember their political views of a decade ago; 28% say they would have sided with Yeltsin against the State of Emergency Committee again, but 31% of respondents claim they would not have got involved at all.

ANOTHER POLITICAL SCANDAL IN BELARUS

Moskovsky Komsomolets, August 20, 2001, p. 2

Vladimir Goncharik, the opposition candidate, claims the regime is brewing up a provocation in the hope of framing him.

Goncharik says the regime is buying special equipment abroad, and servicemen in some military units are being denied leave. “Special assignment teams are being trained for the provocation,” Goncharik says. His candidacy is backed by the Belarussian communists as well.

The regime hold to its own opinion. Alexander Lukashenko claims that the alliance formed by opposition candidates Goncharik and Domash is illegitimate. Domash is to become the prime minister if Goncharik wins. Under the constitution, however, the prime minister is appointed by the parliament. The president can only nominate a candidate. And the present parliament is not composed of opposition activists…

WASHINGTON CONSIDERS RUSSIA THE SECOND LARGEST ARMS EXPORTER IN THE WORLD

Izvestia, August 21, 2001, p. 2

Russia sold $7.7 billion of arms in 2000. This figure is far behind that reported by the largest arms exporter, the United States (with $18.6 billion or more than 50% of the global total, which had increased against 1999 by 8% to $36.9 billion). At the same time, it leaves all other arms exporters behind. France exported $4.1 billion worth of arms and military hardware, Germany $1.1 billion, and Britain $600 million.

Almost 70% of arms and military hardware are exported to developing countries. This is still the largest arms market.

The US Congress has such surveys published regularly. But despite all its efforts to make the study nonpartisan, its objectivity is nevertheless questionable. How are the estimates made? Author Richard F. Grimmett merely added up the value of all contracts, and left it at that. But it sometimes takes years to fulfill a contract, and the value may change. Hence the figures in the study which show that between 1997 and 2000 Russia sold $300 million worth of military hardware to Iran (or $800 million worth counting previous deals).

Russian statistics count the export revenues. Arms exports totalled $3.6 billion in 1996, according to official reports. Few know, however, that almost $800 million of deliveries were made as partial payments of state debt. This reduced the revenues to $2.8 billion, but the treasury actually got only $2.1 billion in cash. Russia earned the same amount in 1997 again, and $2.3 billion in 1998. The revenues approached the sum of $3.6 billion again only in 1999.

In 2000, Russia exported $3.7 billion worth of arms and military hardware. Deputy Defense Minister Mikhail Dmitriyev is convinced that the sum may reach $4-5 billion in the next few years.

The Russian military is taciturn on the subject, merely saying that Russia is among the top five arms exporters.

ON NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN PRIME MINISTERS OF RUSSIA AND UKRAINE

Izvestia, August 21, 2001, p. 2

Negotiations between the two prime ministers ended by midday yesterday. There is nothing about their outcome the Russians can take pride in. Aleksei Miller of Gazprom did not even make a public announcement afterwards or indicate his attitude towards the outcome in any way. Last fall, Moscow announced that it had made all the calculations and that Ukraine owed $2.2 billion for gas. Kiev recognized only $1.4 billion worth of debts. After lengthy and essentially pointless debates, Russia and Ukraine made two bilateral accords on the matter.

According to Mikhail Kasianov, these accords are to be extended for a decade now. Moscow and Kiev expect to settle all questions in the interim.

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