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July 29, 2014

Russia looks to increase domestic weapons production

Putin: ‘We can definitely produce everything we need ourselves’

Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed officials at a July 28 meeting about replacing imports in the defense industry. Putin stated the country needed to protect itself against the risk of foreign partners “not performing their contractual obligations.”

“This includes risks of a political nature too,” he added.

The rapid introduction and maximum broad use of Russian-made materials and spare parts in arms production was the subject of the discussion, according to a Kremlin press release.

Ever since Russia annexed Crimea in March, there have been calls to stop weapon exports to Russia.

World War II-era tanks on parade in Moscow. Photo: AFP

The UK government, for example, has been critical of other European countries who have continued to supply Russia, according to a July 20 BBC report.

France, on the other hand, is continuing work on the delivery of Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia, despite calls from the US and UK to stop the deal. The first Mistral is to arrive in October.

“The main issue on the agenda today is speeding up work to replace imports in the defense industry and make the broadest possible use of Russian-made materials and components in production of special equipment and arms,” Putin said, adding that it was crucial for military and economic security and for the country’s technological and production independence and sovereignty.

“We can definitely produce everything we need ourselves. There is no question about that,” he said. Key factors are price, quality and keeping to a timetable.

He claims that in the end, increasing reliance on domestic military production will also provide incentives to improve other production capabilities.

“Some of what we were getting and using in the state arms program was already somewhat outdated. The technology used to make it was outdated, and the equipment used in the production process was old too,” he said.

“But we now have the chance and obligation to build up a modern, hi-tech production base, and we can do this if we organize the work in proper fashion. We need to be persevering and consistent here, and of course we must not be wasteful with our money but need to make thorough calculations of the costs involved,” the Russian president concluded.

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