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Official: Russian arms exports to exceed $7 bln in 2007

Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Monday that the country’s arms and military equipment exports could exceed $7 billion in 2007.

Medvedev released the figure at an annual ceremony awarding those who have made outstanding contribution to Russian military industry. Mikhail Dmitryiyev, the head of the federal service for military and technical cooperation, said on the occasion that the figure could be even higher, standing at 7.2 or 7.3 billion since Russia has already crossed the 7 billion benchmark earlier.

Russia is the world second largest arms exporter after the United States, followed by France and Israel. With the volume of arms exports registered at $6.5 billion in 2006, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the beginning of the year that Russia is fully equipped to become world No. 1 arms exporter. He urged the Russian government to change the mode of arms export by providing better-quality spare parts and services. (