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Government Interested in Foreign Technology, Not Ready-Made Arms

Russia is interested in buying only military technology from abroad, not ready-made weapons, a senior defense industry official said Tuesday.

But Vyacheslav Dzirkaln, a deputy head of the Service for Military and Technical Assistance, added that "no one will supply us with the most modern types of weapons and military technology," Interfax reported.

Dzirkaln said his position was shared by the country's Defense Ministry.

"If there are opportunities to buy cutting-age technologies that don't exist in Russia, it is not shameful to spend money on them," he said.

Russian officials have said repeatedly that they need new technology to upgrade the defense sector, which still relies on Soviet-era equipment.

Russia, a major weapons exporter, started buying foreign weapons during the tenure of former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov in 2007-2012.

The country bought police weapons from Europe and drones from Israel. In 2011, Russia also signed a deal to buy two French-made Mistral-class amphibious assault ships that can carry up to 16 helicopters and 450 troops.

Under the contact, worth an estimated 1.2 billion euros, the country also had an option to build another two Mistral ships locally. But Russian officials said in 2012 that the option would not be executed.

As part of the modernization efforts, the Foundation for Advanced Research, modeled after the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, was established in Russia to promote cooperation between the government and private businesses in the defense sector.

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