Russia companies hopeful GCC countries will buy their weapons

March 31, 2010

Russian weapon firms, encouraged by news that the Gulf Cooperation Council countries are willing to spend more on defensive equipment, are optimistic of striking deals in the region, a senior military official has said.

Dmitry V Matveev, from the Federal Service for Military Technical Co-operation (FSMTC) of Russia, told Qatari daily Gulf Times that Russians “are as hopeful as ever before.”

Matveev, chief of the fourth department on military-technical co-operation with Foreign States, said that he felt there was room for doing more business in the Middle East and North African (Mena) region, notably in the GCC states.

Speaking at the Second Doha International Maritime and Defence Exhibition (Dimdex), he said that the level of defence awareness in the region was increasing considerably and that Russian skill, expertise and competitiveness had won praise from the region.The GCC states have gone on record on their keenness to increase their defence spending in view of their ever growing requirements, especially in the naval sector, he was reported as saying by the newspaper.

The Doha showcase features more than 150 international companies from 35 countries that specialise in maritime defense.

The air show in Dubai and defence exhibition in Abu Dhabi are some of the other events of the region where the Russian department is keen on expanding co-operation, he said. “Even while consistently working out the new areas for strategic defence co-operation with other countries, we make efforts to upgrade our equipment so that the newly acquired technology could benefit not only our own defence apparatus but also those of our partners,” said Matveev whose department is in charge of developing and finding new areas of defence and maritime co-operation between Russia and friendly countries. “The Russian official said their governmental agency helps the Russian armed forces in building up technical co-operation with friendly nations. As of now, the agency has a considerably higher level of technical ties with such countries as China, India, Venezuela and Algeria, and it involves a remarkably higher level of personnel level co-operation too,” he said.

Matveev said Russia has exported defence equipment worth more than $8 billion, but added that the figure was bound to increase in the coming years in view of growing demands.

In February, Russia said that it would supply Kuwait with several types of weapons under a bilateral agreement.

Quoting Alexander Kinshchak, Russia’s ambassador to Kuwait, Al Anba daily said that the two countries have agreed on all the details and that Kuwaiti experts would be trained on the use of the new weapons.


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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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