The international arms exhibition Russian Expo Arms-2002 is drawing to a close in Nizhny Tagil. The local television company Channel 4 quotes Andrei Belyaninov, the managing director of Rosoboronexport (the state arms exporting company), as saying that contracts resulting from the exhibition will only start to appear in two to three years' time. This is how long the negotiation of new contracts will take. The organisers of the exhibition are confident that new contracts will be forthcoming.
The most popular exhibits among foreign representatives are equipment developed by plants in the Sverdlovsk region of Russia. These are being shown to a wider audience for the first time. Russian arms manufacturers have not yet concluded any contracts with representatives of foreign governments, although spokespersons for Rosoboronexport claim that they were not expecting to.
The exhibition in Nizhny Tagil is only one stage of the marketing policy of Russia's main arms exporter. Experts state that in the future three companies will be able to firmly count on receiving contracts from foreign buyers. These include Factory No.9, which makes a 155-mm howitzer which has attracted the interest of countries using NATO standard ammunition and the development laboratory Novator, which has developed the 3M-54 anti-ship missile (these missiles are carried by Kila class submarines). Contracts may also be signed with Uralvagonzavod from the Nizhny Tagil region, which has modernised the world's most popular Russian tank, the T-72M. China and India have shown a genuine interest in this project.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969