Russia Seeks Middle East Deals at MAKS Air Show | World Defense

Russia Seeks Middle East Deals at MAKS Air Show

Gasoline

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Russia Seeks Middle East Deals at MAKS Air Show






MOSCOW — Political upheaval over the last year has created a radically different business, political and security environment for this week's biennial International Aviation and Space Salon (MAKS) compared with the 2013 exhibit.

Russian defense firms under Western sanctions imposed for Moscow's annexation of Crimea last year have effectively cut the industry off from Western credit and customers.

This has not stopped companies like Airbus and Boeing from booking salon space to show off their civilian wares, such as the new A350 commercial plane, but it has put the Russian defense industry under immense pressure to demonstrate that it will make due with non-Western customers, which have been the traditional buyers of Russian equipment.

“The MAKS air show is likely to illustrate the Kremlin's real and emerging security partners in the Near and Far East,” said Theodore Karasik, a UAE-based geo-political analyst who closely follows trends in Russian arms agreements.

Russia already maintains a commanding presence in the arms markets in these regions. In 2014, Russian arms exports hit a record high of $13.2 billion, with a heavy focus on aircraft sales. Its main trading partners are nations such as China and India.

Russian defense firms that will present their products at the MAKS air show, such as Almaz-Antey and the United Aircraft Corp., are Russia's largest defense contractors, and saw surging revenues in this year's Defense News Top 100 ranking.

But Russia appears to be making a concerted push to sweep up contracts from non-traditional customers in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan. On Aug. 18, Russian media reports said that the Saudi and Jordanian kings would join President Vladimir Putin at the show's opening on Aug. 21.

“The visit of both the Saudi and Jordanian kings is part of the broader picture regarding the politics surrounding MAKS,” said Karasik. “Both Riyadh and Amman may be looking for equipment to support allies in the Near East specifically to add airpower assets to complement Russian equipment on the ground in several locations."

Alexey Khlebnikov, a Moscow-based analyst focusing on the Middle East, said Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is also expected in Moscow this week, indicating that both Jordan and Egypt are looking to buy Russian weapons, though a contract might not be signed at MAKS.


The Iranian Embassy in Moscow also confirmed that an Iranian delegation will be present at MAKS. Several Russian media reports said that Russia and Iran are expected to sign an agreement on the sale of four battalions of S-300 air defense systems this week. Though they did not specify where this would take place, it is possible MAKS will be the forum.

However, “the most important deal is the possible arms deal with Saudi Arabia,” Khlebnikov said. “My guess is that Saudi Arabia might be interested in the newest Russian combat helicopters, the K-52Ks, which were specifically designed for the Mistral helicopter carriers.”

The K-52K will be shown publicly for the first time at MAKS, and given that Saudi Arabia has expressed a strong interest in the Mistral carriers, which France was supposed to deliver to Russia before the contract was suspended last year, “it makes it very likely that the Saudis want the helicopters [built for the ships],” Khlebnikov said.


Though foreign arms sales are going to dominate the MAKS air show, the Russian Air Force is expected to sign a major contract for 48 new Su-35 multirole fighters, newspaper Vedomosti reported last week, citing unidentified defense industry sources.


Russia Seeks Middle East Deals at MAKS Air Show
 

Scorpion

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The vodka addict Putin is wrong if he thinks that we are going to bid over the Syrian issue. He should leave Syria first then we may give him a look.
 

Gasoline

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The vodka addict Putin is wrong if he thinks that we are going to bid over the Syrian issue. He should leave Syria first then we may give him a look.
He will do so. Few months ago, Putin sent a request to King Salman to visit Russia and I think King Salman in his way to meet the request .
 

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He will do so. Few months ago, Putin sent a request to King Salman to visit Russia and I think King Salman in his way to meet the request .
The Russian economy has suffered lately as a result of low oil prices. Putin wants to negotiate oil prices in return to giving up on Assad. Saudi Arabia will not decrease oil export anytime soon. Remember its not Saudi Arabia vs Russia but Saudi Arabia vs US shale oil, Iran nuclear deal, Russia. Its three vs one.
 

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The Russian economy has suffered lately as a result of low oil prices. Putin wants to negotiate oil prices in return to giving up on Assad. Saudi Arabia will not decrease oil export anytime soon. Remember its not Saudi Arabia vs Russia but Saudi Arabia vs US shale oil, Iran nuclear deal, Russia. Its three vs one.
True. The both sides have their own interests and they are working to keep it at its best. So, believe me they're on their way to settle things and forget the past. As you mentioned the Russian economy is suffering due to the low oil prices plus the west sanctions. So, they won't put Russia at risk to keep Assad ruling Syria till his death. They will sell him soon. Don't forget the Russians are living in risky days and they want some money to stand on their feet against the US & NATO.
 

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True. The both sides have their own interests and they are working to keep it at its best. So, believe me they're on their way to settle things and forget the past. As you mentioned the Russian economy is suffering due to the low oil prices plus the west sanctions. So, they won't put Russia at risk to keep Assad ruling Syria till his death. They will sell him soon. Don't forget the Russians are living in risky days and they want some money to stand on their feet against the US & NATO.
Saudi Arabia is not going to negotiate oil prices period. We might go for other form of investments, buy arms and encourage trade. Thats about it.
 

vegito12

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This is more of a political game and also Russia is trying to have a relationship which means of benefits where both sides gain something and Russia wants to improve the economy, and will be interesting to see what happens in these deals. I reckon Russia will have to pay the oil prices which are normal and may not get any discounts and wonder what Putin will do when he finds he will have to pay at the normal price without any discounts in the deal. I think the past can come up in this deal and will need to tread carefully and hope a peaceful solution, comes out of this and will be surprised if there are oil negotiations in this deal.
 

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Russia needs to sell arms to help its ailing economy. The Saudi's are moving towards being the power broker in their region and they are seeking to acquire weapons accordingly. Therefore, each side has something important to offer, hence the move towards brokering a deal which will be beneficial to both sides.
 

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I think there is a pretty big market in the ME right now. Everyone is buying and looking to create a more diversified arsenal. This is where Russian weapons come in, they're unique enough that they do not overlap with a lot of functions that the French and American weapon systems have in place. Plus, Russia is offering more competitive deals, which means better offers for buyers.
 

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