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Official: Volumes of Russian arms exports to China too low

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March 15, 2010, 7:48 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Interfax-Ukraine

A top official in the government agency overseeing Russia's foreign trade in arms has complained that Chinese imports of Russian weapons have declined in volume since 2006.

Moscow, March 15 (Interfax-AVN) - A top official in the government agency overseeing Russia's foreign trade in arms has complained that Chinese imports of Russian weapons have declined in volume since 2006 and has criticized China for "selective purchases" of Russian arms and departing from a "mutually beneficial" trade principle. "In regards to prospects for cooperation, despite the fact that some aspects have been showing positive dynamics recently, it needs to be mentioned that the volume of bilateral cooperation is still not too big. Not a single major contract has been signed since 2006," Alexander Fomin, first deputy director of the Federal Service for Military Technological Cooperation (FSVTS), told the VVP magazine in an interview which has been posted on the FSVTS website.

"This is bound to make us worry because this state of affairs is at variance with the degree of confidence [between Russia and China] that has been achieved," Fomin said.

"We cannot accept the Chinese practice that is based on the principle of selective purchases of arms and military equipment from Russia. We believe that cooperation should be truly mutually beneficial when work is being done that is both in Chinese and in Russian interests," he said.

"In our opinion, fields such as [sales of] combat and military transport aircraft, naval armaments, air defense systems and post-sale servicing of those armaments contain a large potential for cooperation. Modernization in the course of repairs of various degrees of complexity might also become an important field of cooperation" Fomin said.

"Furthermore, we hope for more dialogue with the Chinese side on the subject of the Zubr air-cushioned landing craft [NATO reporting name Pomornik]," he said.

"In order to ensure prompt solutions to problems in bilateral cooperation," the FSVTS has appointed a representative to China, who took office in Beijing in September 2009, Fomin said.
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