Russia Picks Holes in SIPRI Claim of Fall in Arms Exports

  • Our Bureau
  • 04:44 AM, December 7, 2021
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Russia Picks Holes in SIPRI Claim of Fall in Arms Exports
Sukhoi Su-35S fighters @Russia MoD

Russia has rejected a Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report that claimed that its arms exports declined by 6.5% from 2019 to 2020.

Published on Monday, the report says that the total arms sales of nine major Russian defense companies in 2020 fell by 6.5% from $28.2 billion in 2019 to $26.4 billion in 2020. In 2020, Russian companies reportedly accounted for 5% of the total global sales.

Dmitry Shugaev, director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) rebutted the findings. He argued that SIPRI estimates “do not reflect the real picture.”

“SIPRI uses only open data, which is certainly not complete. They do not fully take into account spare parts and services,” he said.

Shugaev alleged that SIPRI employees are “representatives of the Western institutions” and that there was a “political” angle to it.

He also said: “Instead of a specific value of a product, they use a so-called trend indicator, which has approximately the same meaning for the same type of product. That is, an emphasis is placed on assessing the quantitative side, which, as the institute itself emphasizes, cannot be used to assess export volumes.”

Russian government-owned Rostec has also disregarded the SIPRI report. “We have repeatedly said that the SIPRI ratings are not a benchmark and an objective source of information for us for many reasons. First of all, Western analysts rely on open sources and do not know the real picture. All calculations are given in dollars, but the bulk of the domestic defense industry production is state defense order, where payments are made in rubles," a representative of the state corporation told Interfax.

“The rating is not based on the number of tanks, aircraft, helicopters and other weapons, but on the volume of dollar earnings. The difference in exchange rates is not taken into account, that is, the approach is formal and simplified. Production remains at a high level,” the company added.

Rosoboronexport's export order portfolio exceeds $ 52 billion, the company said on September 7.

Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said in October that the volume of Russian exports of military products annually remains at a stable level of $15 billion. Alexander Mikheev, head of Rosoboronexport, also claimed that Russia exports weapons worth nearly $10 billion in this year.

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