Inherent dangers in Russia’s bid to boost arms sales

Russia's support for Syria has strategic and economic benefits (photo:dpa)
Russia's support for Syria has strategic and economic benefits (photo:dpa)

Since Vladimir Putin’s tenure at the Kremlin, Russia has tried to re-establish itself as one of the world’s major arms exporters. But it is finding that this strategy is coming into conflict with its foreign affairs objectives, most noticeably in Syria. It is continuing to support the Assad regime, but still wants to do business with the West. As the world market in arms becomes more competitive, the dilemma could pose major challenges for President Putin.

WEAPONS sales are big business for Russia which now ranks as the world’s second largest arms exporter, after the United States.

It sold US$4.8 billion worth of arms in 2011, according to the annu...

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