Russian military exports unaffected by U.S. sanctions: Rostec CEO

On Monday, the head of Russia’s state conglomerate Rostec said, Russian military export sales have not been affected by U.S. sanctions.

Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine along with other factors, the United States had imposed sanctions on Russia. Rostec, whose business includes weapons manufacturer Kalashnikov as well as Russian Helicopters and United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), is among those Russian firms that have been targeted by sanctions.

In 2018, Rosoboronexport, Russia’s state agency for exports and imports, had recorded military sales of $13.7 billion, slightly higher than 2017 figures, said Rostec head Sergey Chemezov at the Dubai Airshow. Sales for 2019 are expected to be like that of 2018 with the company already having recorded $11 billion in sales.

“It is growing, that means our production is of higher quality and reliable.”

Chemezov went on to add, Russia would continue its military cooperation with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates; already several projects are underway despite some countries shunning the two Gulf states for their role in the Yemen war.

Countries including Germany, Norway and others have restricted the sales of arms to countries engaged in the Yemen war.

Chemezov stated, there has been interest from the Middle East for Russia’s MC-21, its single aisle passenger jet that competes with similar jets from Airbus and Boeing. Discussions are currently ongoing with Russia yet to sign any contract with Middle East buyers.

Chemezov declined to name potential customers.

He however disclosed, currently there are orders for more than 170 MC-21, mostly from airlines in Russia.

“Regular production” of around 72 aircraft per year is planned with the first deliveries set to begin in 2021, said Chemezov.

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