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Kalashnikov Eyes Aggressive Expansion in Asia-Pacific Market

Kalashnikov in 2014 was cut off from the North American and European military and civilian arms markets.

Kalashnikov, Russia's most iconic gun manufacturer, plans to double its sale of weapons to countries in the Asia-Pacific region, the company's CEO Alexei Krivoruchko said on Monday, news agency RIA Novosti reported.

Krivoruchko declined to specify the value of sales to the Asia-Pacific region, calling the figure “a commercial secret,” but assured reporters at a news conference in Bangkok that “the growth of cooperation with the Asia-Pacific nations is significant for us.”

“In the first nine months of 2015, deliveries of the company's civilian small arms increased almost nine times in absolute value and five times in monetary terms compared to the full year of 2014,” he said. “In 2016 we plan to double the number of contracts in the Asia-Pacific market.”

Kalashnikov in 2014 was cut off from the North American and European military and civilian arms markets by Western sanctions imposed on Russian defense firms last summer in response to Moscow's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

The company was in the process of a major distribution deal in the United States that would have seen around 200,000 civilian rifles imported to the U.S. annually. In the wake of sanctions, Kalashnikov has been aggressively targeting the Asia-Pacific civilian arms markets.

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