Russia is ready to sell advanced weapons to allies globally and cooperate in developing military technology, President Vladimir Putin said, adding its latest arms are far superior to those of rival nations.
With the Russian leader’s forces beaten back from Ukraine’s two biggest cities and making slow headway at a heavy cost in the east, the five-month war in Ukraine has so far not proved to be a convincing showcase for Russia’s weapons industry.
However, the Kremlin leader, addressing an arms show outside Moscow, insisted Russian armaments were years ahead of the competition.
Russia cherishes its strong ties with Latin America, Asia and Africa, “and is ready to offer partners and allies the most modern types of weapons – from small arms to armoured vehicles and artillery, combat aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles”, said Putin.
“Almost all of them have been used more than once in real combat operations,” he added.
He said Russia could offer new models and systems: “We are talking about high-precision weapons and robotics, about combat systems based on new physical principles. Many of them are years, or maybe decades ahead of their foreign counterparts, and in terms of tactical and technical characteristics they are significantly superior to them.”
Putin: Tasks fulfilled
Ukraine has made effective use of United States-supplied weaponry, especially high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS), and Russia has taken a series of major blows, including the devastation of an airbase in the Russian-annexed Crimean Peninsula last week.
Nevertheless, Putin said the forces of Russia and its proxies in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine were fulfilling all their tasks.
“Step by step, they are liberating the land of Donbas,” he said.
The speech formed part of a pattern of statements since the February 24 invasion in which Putin and Sergey Lavrov, his foreign minister, have talked up the potential for Russia to cooperate with allies such as China, India, Iran and others to build a new international order no longer dominated by the US.
“I want to emphasise that Russia stands for the broadest comprehensive development [and] military-technical cooperation. Today in conditions of confidence in the emerging multipolar world, this is especially important,” Putin said.
“We highly appreciate the fact that our country has many like-minded allies and partners on different continents. These are the states that do not succumb to the so-called hegemon. Their leaders show a real masculine character and do not bend.”