Russia’s Arms Sale Success Is Proof That Its “Military Diplomacy” Works

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, an internationally acclaimed authority on the global arms trade and popularly known by its acronym as SIPRI, released its latest findings on Monday and revealed that Russia overtook the UK to become the world’s second-largest arms producer. According to their data, Russia sold approximately 9.5% of all global weaponry last year, which SIPRI said amounts to $37.7 billion and an 8.5%increase over 2016’s figures. Still, Russia trails far behind the US, which sold 57% of the world’s weapons last year worth around $226.6 billion, which was a 2% increase from the year prior.

In any case, Russia’s second-place rank is significant because it proves just how popular its arms have become all across the world since the commencement of its 2015 anti-terrorist intervention in Syria, which showcased the effectiveness of its wares and generated immense global interest in them. Furthermore, the recent spree of S-400 sales to China,Turkey, India, and possibly even soon to Saudi Arabia too speaks to the demand that many different countries have for Russia’s defensive assets as well.Overall, Russia is being regarded across the world as a reliable military supplier that has no ulterior geopolitical motives in this industry.

Unlike the US’ weapons sales which usually seek to disrupt the regional balance of power in favor of America’s main partner in the area, Russia’s arms exports don’t discriminate between countries and Moscow is oftentimes seen selling weapons to opposing pairs of countries such as Turkey & Syria, Armenia & Azerbaijan, Iran & Saudi Arabia, India & China, and China & Vietnam. This isn’t solely in pursuit of profit,however, but in advance of Russia’s “military diplomacy” which seeks to retain the balance of power in order to discourage the outbreak of hostilities and encourage a diplomatic solution to regional issues.

Army 2018Correspondingly, it makes sense within this paradigm to sell weapons to rival states in order to ensure that neither of them gains an edge over the other as a result of American arms imports and is therefore enticed to aggressively pressure the other to advance the US’ designs in the region. By having its comparatively cheaper but highly effective arms compete with the US’ much more expensive and sometimes less effective ones, Russia is able to reduce the chances that America’s plans will succeed while simultaneously positioning itself as a neutral mediator for facilitating talks between rival parties, which is the essence of its “balancing” strategy.

The post presented is the partial transcript of the CONTEXT COUNTDOWN radio program on Sputnik News, aired on Friday Dec 14, 2018:

DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution. 

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One Comment
  1. Yes but UK’s Chief of SIS knew how to curtail every evil and stop war from happening. He helped to pave the way of arrest and prosecution of ‘War Criminals’ implicate in murder or displacement of hundreds of thousands of people. His great intelligence he modestly declares cannot stop every war or every evil but it does save lives. My question is.. Do you know the genocidal maniacs who implemented that war in Western Balkans? And forgive my ignorance but just where exactly in Western Balkans did he and the mighty intelligent UK intervene to SAVE lives?

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