MOSCOW --- Russia’s overseas arms sales exceeded $14 billion this year, outperforming forecasts by more than $500 million, President Vladimir Putin said on Monday.
The country’s defense industry also sealed export contracts worth another $15 billion in 2012, Putin said in Moscow.
But Russia should work to expand its range and strengthen its position on the market for the maintenance and modernization of military equipment, Putin said, speaking at a session of a governmental commission on the defense industry.
The Russian Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation forecasted arms exports in 2012 would stand at $13.5 billion.
Russia reported arms sales of $13.2 billion in 2011, enough to maintain its position as the world’s second arms exporter after the United States. The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency reported overseas arms sales of $34.8 billion last year.
India is the leading purchaser of Russian arms, with Vietnam, Myanmar, Venezuela and countries of the Middle East also figuring among main clients of the Russian defense industry.