(AFP) – Western sanctions against Russia will not affect the country’s multi-billion dollar weapons sales, the state-owned arms export company said Wednesday.
“Sanctions haven’t changed our markets,” a Rosoboronexport spokesman was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency at a weapons expo held on the outskirts of Moscow.
The company’s deputy director, Igor Sevastyanov, said the sale of land weapons, which account for 10-12 percent of total exports, could increase.
“Local conflicts don’t always require aircraft, submarines, anti-aircraft systems,” he told Interfax at the OboronExpo-2014 show. “Tanks, artillery, machine guns and assault rifles are what are needed.”
Rosoboronexport expects to sell around $13 billion (9.7 billion euros) of weapons and equipment this year, an amount similar to last year.
The European Union and United States have imposed sanctions on Russia over its annexation of Crimea and alleged support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
The EU sanctions include a ban on new arms sales to and purchases from Russia.