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The Russian president insists Russia’s policy is peaceful, though it will continue to expand its economy and build its military.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, partial transcript of a wide-ranging interview with Rossiya-1 television channel presenter Vladimir Solovyov.

(an interview dated 13 October 2015 by Kremlin.ru)


Vladimir Solovyov: The defence industry will drive growth?

Vladimir Putin: Yes, that’s right. This is the way things work all around the world; in the United States, Europe, China and India.

We built the BrahMos missile together with our Indian partners, for example, and developed a whole new sector in Indian industry. India’s scientists worked very actively. This was a real step towards developing a high-tech production sector in India. Our Indian partners are very happy and have proposed developing this programme further, and we intend to do so.

Despite defence cooperation and military hardware sales set to restore the Russian economy on a growth trajectory, Russia’s foreign policy has always been a peaceful one, the President said. He also denied any ambitions of taking over smaller former Soviet Republics as has been widely speculated.

Russia has a peaceful foreign policy, and this is no exaggeration. If you look at the political map of the world and Russia’s place on it, it is obvious that we have no need for others’ territory or natural resources. We have enough resources of our own and we have no need for war or conflict with anyone else.

In 1990, it was Russia that started the divorce process between the republics making up the former Soviet Union. We showed good will and gave these countries their independence. This happened not as a result of civil war or conflict, but was a consensus decision, and Russia’s stance played a central role in this decision.

We therefore have no desire to restore the empire or rebuild the Soviet Union, but we do have a duty to defend Russia’s independence and sovereignty. This is what we have been doing and will continue to do.

As for the economic dimension, coming back to what I said before, we drew up the plans to modernise and rearm our country’s armed forces with the most up-to-date systems several years ago. It was 10 years ago now that we started working on these plans and formulating the tasks ahead. Let me say again that this was all about natural replacement of aging weapon systems.

Another circumstance I want to note in this respect is that all of this work involves advanced technology, and the tasks we are carrying out in the defence industry will push us into developing not just applied but also fundamental science and will have benefits for the entire economy.

Let me say a few words about import replacement in this respect. We purchased abroad many of the components we were using in the defence industry. But it was always clear that importing more sensitive components and technology and even spare parts for the defence industry was not a very far-sighted policy, to put it mildly.

Having petrodollars made it easy to buy things abroad of course, but we need to develop science and industry here in Russia. In this sense, the import replacement that our partners’ actions have pushed us into is actually precisely what our country needs. We are therefore not creating problems for our economy, but on the contrary, are raising it to new levels of technological progress.

Vladimir Solovyov: The terrorist attack in Turkey raises questions that many are asking themselves now in Russia. We are fighting terrorism, which threatens our country too, and are trying to stop it before it reaches our borders. But are we ready here at home to resist attempts to once again bring suffering and death to our soil?

Vladimir Putin: If you think about it, we have already become used to hearing of a terrorist attack here, a terrorist attack there. Unfortunately, we have not yet got rid of this threat. Back at the time when I took the decision to launch operations against international terrorist groups following the attack on Dagestan, many people said to me that we cannot do this for all sorts of reasons, said there is a risk the terrorists will do this, try that.

I came to the conclusion that if we fear that the terrorists will do something, they will definitely do it. We must take pre-emptive action. Of course, there are risks, but let me say that these risks existed anyway, even before we began our operations in Syria.


R E L A T E D :

Reliable partners get Russian technology

“Today Russia has hundreds of joint military ventures and technology transfer projects with foreign countries,” Vladimir Gutenev, first deputy chairman of the Industrial Committee of the Russian State Duma, told RIR.

“Russia wants to use the broadest possible component base, especially for providers of third and fourth level cooperation. One of the main, promising areas for us is development of joint ventures for production of electronic components, particularly for use in the aerospace industry. In this area, we are expanding cooperation with China, Malaysia and Singapore,” Gutenev told RIR.

BRICS, SCO, EEU are priorities

Among the most promising partners for this cooperation, Russian analysts said, are Latin American countries, especially Venezuela, as well as South Africa, India, and China.

In South Africa, for example, joint projects are being carried out for the ammunitions industry, India is building an export version of the PAK FA, and has outlined plans for a military transport aircraft, while in China, production of a wide-body aircraft and a new generation of heavy helicopters using Russian scientific and technological expertise is planned. Potential partners to set up joint military enterprises and high priority partners are now those countries which provide import substitution, instead of western countries and Ukraine. These are members of organizations like BRICS, the SCO and EEU: Belarus, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Singapore, Brazil and India and China.

“We are interested in all these countries, first of all, as reliable partners capable of conducting an independent policy, and secondly, for their large markets. Russia is interested in developing a strategic partnership which is specifically focused on the long term, and on the development of a joint production base to ensure stability of supply in the future, and sustainability of good relations”, Gutenev said.

Russian military equipment designers feel that future breakthrough technologies could be based on joint international projects. The world is developing so rapidly that truly unique designs built only by one company, in a single country today are very few.

“Specifically, technology transfer projects in the military sphere are gaining a global market share. In fact, Russia, as well as many countries today, is undergoing a transformation in military-technical cooperation in the classic sense of the word (sale-purchase) to the transfer of technology, and is committed to joint ventures to develop high-tech, new generation products,” said Sergey Goreslavsky, Deputy Director General of Rosoboronexport.

Private Russian companies conquering the arms market

Private Russian companies are also trying to launch joint projects with foreign companies. In 2012, the Vietnam Aerospace Association signed an agreement with Irkut Engineering, having decided to use Russian technology for civilian drones, and for future defence requirements. Now, the Vietnamese Academy of Science and Technology is interested in work by the Moscow Research and Production Enterprise Taiber LLC, the company’s technical director, Sergey Tytsyk, told RIR.

At the Russian Arms Expo2015, the company introduced an entirely new control system for integration into all types of unmanned systems, the SAU-9.1, which allows for take- off and landing on an airstrip in a fully automatic mode. The military hopes they can use this system to transport casualties from the battlefield, avoiding risk to pilots in extreme situations.

“We are in very close negotiations with research institutions in India and Saudi Arabia. These countries are interested in our expertise in building drones and participating in joint projects,” said Tytsyk.


Russian military equipment designers feel that future breakthrough technologies could be based on joint international projects. Source:Slava Stepanov/Gelio

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