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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Military to Up Anns Sales

Russia is making a strong effort to boost its arms sales abroad, according to two top military officials.

The campaign to revive the lucrative sales of military hardware will focus on the Middle East and Eastern Europe, traditional customers of Moscow, the officials said.

"We are ready to sell military hardware to any country in the Near and Middle East, if there is a government decision on that", General Sergei Karaoglanov, head of the state arms monopoly Oboronexport, told Izvestia in an interview published Tuesday.

He said that sales to Israel, which purchases most of its weaponry from the United States, were unlikely.

Viktor Glukhikh, chairman of the Committee for Defense Industries, made similar statements about expanding Russia's arms sales in an interview with Deloviye Lyudi obtained by The Associated Press.

Russia has lost billions of dollars by observing U. N. embargoes on Yugoslavia, Libya and Iraq, Glukhikh said. The loss helps account for a drop in arms sales of $11 billion dollars in 1985 and 1988 to $4 billion last year, according to figures provided by AP.

"We are not violating United Nation's sanctions, although at times we sustain tangible financial losses from these", Karaoglanov said.

To boost international interest in Russian arms, Moscow will show off 370 different weapons and related parts at the Index 93 International Armaments Exhibition in Abu Dhabi next week, Karaoglanov said.

The military official expressed optimism that the Russian weaponry would compare well against its Western competitors.

"The quality of American weapons is greatly overrated", he told Izvestia.

Foreign buyers have a vast network of Russian military producers from which to choose. Some 1, 700 enterprises, and 200 research centers with a total of 6 million workers are pumping out weapons in Russia today, Glukhikh told Deloviye Lyudi.

Potential new sources for Russian weapons include Malaysia, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates, as well as controversial Pakistan and South Africa, Glukhikh said in the interview. But he said that Russia would consult with India before selling to Pakistan, and would wait for the end of the U. N. military embargo against South Africa before selling arms there.