Sunday, July 1, 2018

Arms trade

Russia Wants to Sell Its Missiles to U.S. Allies

Russia’s S-400 missile system has never been used in combat. Yet it’s already provoking fights around the world, as Russia searches for buyers in markets long dominated by American weapons makers. China’s neighbors are fretting as the country bolsters its military reach with Russian hardware, encouraging India to follow suit. Tensions between rivals Saudi Arabia and Qatar have ratcheted up as both countries negotiate with Moscow on possible deals, while the recent decision by NATO member Turkey to buy the S-400 has drawn threats of U.S. sanctions.

With Algeria, Belarus, Iran, and Vietnam also likely customers, Russia could generate $30 billion in sales over the next 12 to 15 years, according to the Moscow Defense Brief, a leading publisher of Russian military information. That’s all part of President Vladimir Putin’s plan to use the Russian weapons industry not only to earn billions of dollars but also to drive a wedge between the U.S. and some of its key allies. “The S-400 has both commercial and geopolitical dimensions,” says Vladimir Frolov, a former Russian diplomat who’s now a foreign policy analyst in Moscow. “It creates an opening for Russian influence for years to come.”

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