Russia’s arms sales in 2020 ‘successful’ despite pandemic

Russia’s arms sales last year were not

affected by the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, a senior

official said Friday, making it one of the country’s only industries to come

out unscathed.

“Our order book remained at a level of $50-55 billion,” said Dmitry

Shugayev, who heads the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation.

“We came out with a highly successful year,” he said on the Rossiya 24 news

channel, adding that 2020 “was special” because of the pandemic.

Russia did however suffer losses in its so-called “secret” exports of arms

and military equipment, falling 15.6 percent on the previous year, the RBK

business daily reported last month citing customs data.

In 2019 and 2018, Russia received orders for its weapons worth $51.1

billion and $55 billion respectively, according to chief executive of arms

giant Rostec, Sergei Chemezov.

The country in 2020 suffered losses in other key export industries, notably

seeing a 12 percent drop in energy giant Gazprom’s exports to Europe with

prices and demand collapsing due to the pandemic.

Russia did not reimpose a national lockdown when a second wave of

infections surged late last year, which helped keep its economy’s contraction

to just 3.1 percent — a relatively good result compared with many European


Arms sales are a key part of Moscow’s push to increase its geopolitical

clout from the Middle East to Africa.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)