Russia hopes to compensate for the loss of weapons markets by building new ones and expanding the geographic reach of its arms exports, a leading government figure said Tuesday.
Alexander Fomin, the head of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, was speaking to journalists ahead of an international exhibition in Bangalore, India, at which he will head the Russian delegation.
"We are losing [weapons] markets and gaining new ones at the same time," Fomin said, Interfax reported.
He cited losses in the Middle East and North Africa.
“Cooperation with Libya has been halted — temporarily, I hope,” Fomin said. “There's a temporary drop in deliveries, though we are in touch with Egypt and Iran. We're prevented from working with Syria, that's a fact. We lost Iraq. We've almost lost Afghanistan.”
Despite setbacks, however, Russian arms manufacturers have developed new markets in Venezuela and Peru as well as in places forgotten since Soviet times, like Mali, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Oman, Fomin said.
He attributed the current trend to a tense international situation and a "redrawing of the world's map," adding that Russian-made arms would nonetheless remain competitive internationally.
"We have plenty of problems, of course, but so do our competitors," he said.
Russia's overseas arms sales exceeded $14 billion in 2012, making it the world's second-largest arms exporter after the United States.