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Putin Accuses West of Thwarting Russian Weapons Exports

The comments come after the U.S. and European Union imposed sanctions on Russian defense companies last year following Moscow's annexation of Crimea and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

President Vladimir Putin on Monday accused Western governments and arms manufacturers of harming Russia's efforts to export its weaponry.

"Competition on the global arms and military equipment market has become noticeably more intense of late," Putin said at a meeting of the Commission for Military Technology Cooperation With Foreign States.

"This year [Russian defense firms] have encountered instances of unfair competition from some Western countries and companies," he added.

The comments come after the U.S. and European Union imposed sanctions on Russian defense companies last year following Moscow's annexation of Crimea and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine. The measures blocked trade with Russia on a range of products with direct or potential military application.

However, Russia remains one of the world's biggest arms sellers, with orders worth around $50 billion, mostly from non-Western countries, the Kremlin said.

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