In recent years, military-technical cooperation of Russia and Serbia had risen to a higher level. It is developed in the format of strategic partnership, which was spoken of by our leaders. Signed an intergovernmental agreement on military-technical cooperation projects for the supply of arms and military equipment and components. In addition, work is underway on the repair and modernization of already delivered equipment.
About this “News” said Dmitry Shugaev, the head of the Federal service for military-technical cooperation of the Russian Federation, which is part of the circle of the most important allies of President Vladimir Putin.
Wecare news: in Addition to aircraft and helicopters, which Serbia received in the last few years, we have purchased more and anti-aircraft missile and gun complexes “Carapace”. Does Russia plan in the future to help our country as its ally to make the defense system more modern?
Dmitry E. Shugaev: the Cooperation between our countries is conducted in several directions, however, in recent years most actively in the field of aviation and anti-missile technology. Armed with Serbia are the MiG-29 aircraft, six of which came from the Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation, and also helicopters Mi and the Russian anti-aircraft missiles. Example of completed contracts I can lead the delivery of helicopters Mi-17B-5. In June 2018, was signed a contract for the sale of Mi-35 M, which came at the end of 2019. Battery “Carapace-C1” was delivered at the beginning of the current year. Our partners from Serbia have expressed interest in procurement and other defense systems, and we are ready to meet the needs of Serbia, which is our long-time ally and reliable partner. Especially that Russian manufacturers and specialized exporter “Rosoboronexport” offers a wide range of first-rate air defense systems of different range of. We continue to discuss with partners from Serbia, but it is too early to speak about concrete results.
— Could you tell more about “Armor”?
— Pantsir-S1 anti — aircraft missile and gun system (zrpk) of small radius of action. Managed two operators. It has guided missiles and automatic guns. The system is designed to protect small objects from air attack (aircraft and drones), but also can lead the fight against lightly armored ground vehicles and enemy manpower. The peculiarity of this system is that it is very fast for four to six seconds, can lock onto and hit targets at a relatively low altitude.
— Whether in connection with the procurement of weapons and military equipment training of the Serbian military?
— When signing agreements with Serbia have always stipulated the training of Serbian experts. So, in 2019, they have martial application of “Armour C1” and helicopters. This is necessary so that Serb soldiers could start with this military equipment immediately upon arrival to Serbia.
— Are there any plans in the near future a joint Russian-Serbian military production and access to markets in third countries?
Technological cooperation is one of the most difficult issues in our field. In addition to a high level of development of mutual relations, one must also consider the technological capabilities of manufacturers. You need to clearly understand what types of equipment and what production volumes are a priority, because without this technological cooperation will not be cost-effective. Integrated analyses are needed because production of military equipment in the country partner can get much more expensive than direct delivery from Russia, and it would be disadvantageous to both countries. In principle, Russia is ready to develop any kind of cooperation with Serbia, but it should be carried out on mutually beneficial terms, and not just for the sake of “technological partnership”, simply because this phrase sounds good. We have a good example of successful cooperation in the repair of equipment, which is held together with the plant “MOMA Stanojlovic”.
— Whether this plant is to understand your level and become a regional center for repair of helicopters?
— This question is in 2016. Over the years, discussed a variety of options of implementation of this project. The first positive step in this direction, in my opinion, is the fact that last year the plant “MOMA Stanojlovic” successfully repaired helicopters Mi North of Macedonia. We are ready to continue the work according to the agreed outline and in the future, if we extend the circle of customers at the expense of the countries of the region. Serbia could become a regional center for repair of helicopters and other aircraft.
— During Soviet times, many of the economic issues between the two countries were solved by barter. Can this experience be useful to us today in the field of military-technical cooperation?
— In Soviet times, this variant of cooperation did exist. But the modern reality dictates other conditions. The global weapons market is based on economic laws, and trade involves the sale of products for one currency, not the exchange. However, it is undeniable that the US and other countries continue sanctions against Russia and as a tool of pressure on our partners use just barter. So he again turns into the alternative to the traditional form of calculation.
— According to analysts, the global market for arms exports is around a hundred billion dollars. What percentage of Russia?
— Military-technical cooperation is a specific form of international activities by which we contribute to strengthening the national security of States belonging to our allies. High-quality weapons gives the state the ability to defend themselves from external aggression and to secure a peaceful development. Supplying defense products to foreign partners, our country acquires political and military allies in the strategically important regions of the world. Today, Russia conducts military-technical cooperation with more than 100 States, and military equipment supplied to more than 50 countries. Russian Federation exports of weapons and military equipment exclusively in the framework of our national legislation, respecting international norms and rules. In the last few years, Russia is one of the world’s leading arms exporters. It is no secret that it takes the second place among the major exporters, with an annual volume of about $ 15 billion.
— Despite the fact that the United States different sanctions trying to limit the export of Russian weapons, your sales continue to grow. Illustrative example is the s-400. How do you explain the growing popularity of your modern military equipment?
— First, we always emphasize that our military equipment is reliable and effective for deterrence and defense against the enemy. Consumers appreciate its reliability in any climatic conditions. In addition, the Russian military equipment differs in that it is easily repaired. But today, as I think the best favor of the Russian technology says that it has confirmed its effectiveness in real combat conditions. Now we successfully export the s-400 modern aircraft S2-35, and we are ready to sell lightweight fighters of the MiG-35 and modern T-14.
— Given the massive propaganda of the West, isn’t it difficult for you to negotiate the sale of your weapons and military equipment with new customers?
— In the last few years Russia has faced an unprecedented effort by the United States and its allies to isolate our country in the international arena. Constantly introduce new sanctions. Unfortunately, it has long gone beyond the boundaries of competition. In some cases we are forced to think, not played whether America not does she believe that she can do anything. Fortunately, this policy of the United States today causes allergies in a growing number of partners who do not wish to sacrifice the interests of their national security for the sake of someone’s profit. Therefore, a significant number of partners chooses Russian equipment. The delivery of s-400 to Turkey last year, the signing and implementation of the contract on deliveries of s-400 and frigates to India, the contracts worth over a billion dollars with African countries are some well-known facts that only confirm my words about the unacceptability of pressure on sovereign States in matters of national security. At the same time Russia does not cease to look for new buyers. Russia does not put political conditions, not impose their political values on partners. We are a reliable and, if I may say so, supportive partner, offering quality equipment at a reasonable price. Therefore, the market arms our products are in real demand.