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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Russian Aide Discusses Arms Sales to Middle East

Speaking to Tass News Agency on September 12, 2017, Russian presidential aide for military-technical cooperation Vladimir Kozhin discussed arms sales to various countries, including Middle Eastern clients.

Regarding the potential sale of T-90MS/MSK main battle tanks to Kuwait, Kozhin said, "The contract has not been signed yet, but I reckon it will materialize by the end of this year, bearing in mind the partners' great interest and the active negotiating process."

He did not offer further details on that sale.

Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov said earlier in 2017 that Russia was negotiating with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia over the sale of T-90 tanks. Reportedly, the tanks have undergone trials in Kuwait, which they passed successfully.

Kozhin did not specifically discuss a potential T-90 sale to Saudi Arabia, but in regards to the Gulf Kingdom, he said, "We are preparing major contracts with the UAE, besides serious talks are underway with Saudi Arabia. Russia always actively takes part in it as these are our partners."

Russia and the UAE have reportedly negotiated on a range of military agreements.

Kozhin added, "As for other significant events in military and technical area, by the year-end there are plans to hold meetings of intergovernmental commissions, committees and working groups with Armenia, Jordan, the UAE, Iraq, Cuba, Cyprus, Serbia and some African countries."

Russia plans to export 73 T-90 tanks to Iraq as part of a first batch in a larger contract.

In terms of aircraft, Kozhin noted that around 50 MiG-29s would be provided to Egypt, with some deliveries already occurring. These deliveries will take place over the coming years.

Furthermore, Russia intends to sign a contract with Egypt for the sale of Ka-52K attack helicopters, which will equip Egypt's Mistral naval vessels. It was reported earlier in 2017 that Russia had won a tender for the supply of helicopters for the ships.

Kozhin noted, "It is true, we won the tender, but that does not necessarily mean that a contract is signed instantly, although huge piles of work have been handled and everything is pretty close to the moment when the Ka-52K contract will be inked. I do hope this will happen soon."

He added regarding the negotiations for Russian equipment for the Mistrals, "Talks on this theme are in progress, but at this point I cannot yet say that there is a contract. One should take note of our advantage over competitors, bearing in mind that the helicopters are of Russian manufacture. The Mistral ships were custom-made to accommodate our helicopters. We hope that the talks will yield positive results."

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