Source Pravda.Ru

Russia may lose Central Asian market for arms and military equipment

Unless Russian President Vladimir Putin is able to uphold Russia's position on economic cooperation with Iran at the upcoming US-Russian summit, Russia may lose its market for military technology in Central Asia forever. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, this announcement was made yesterday by Mikhail Deliagin, director of the institute for globalisation problems.

They will undoubtedly talk of curtailing Russia's economic activity in Iran and the Russian delegation may be 'forced into a corner' and have to give a direct 'yes' or 'no'. 'Russia no longer has the authority to give the US an ultimatum,' Mr Deliagin said. In his opinion, if Russia is unable to defend its strategic interests in Iraq, it will take many decades to re-establish its former influence in the Arab world as Russia will be considered a 'weak country'. 'It is a very difficult situation for Russia,' he stressed. 'It will be a great diplomatic victory if Mr Putin manages to find a way out of it, whichever way he does it.'

Mr Deliagin said Russia is currently incapable of sustaining strong economic ties with the US as it has no competitive goods or technology which can be offered on the world market. 'We only sell high technology and military equipment to three countries now, they are Iran, China and India,' Mr Deliagin said. 'After 2007, however, India and China will stop buying Russian equipment and Iran will remain our only strategic partner. It will not be catastrophic for Russia but it will certainly be a significant loss.'

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