12:31 GMT +3 hours28 November 2014
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Russian arms exports exceed $8 bln in 2008

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Russian arms exports in 2008 have been worth over $8 billion, a deputy prime minister said on Tuesday.
MOSCOW, December 16 (RIA Novosti) - Russian arms exports in 2008 have been worth over $8 billion, a deputy prime minister said on Tuesday.

Sergei Ivanov also said Russia had secured $33 billion worth of firm orders for arms deliveries.

"Russia is among the [world's] three leading arms exporters," he said.

He added that despite the global financial crisis none of Russia's foreign clients had reneged on their contracts.

The official stressed that the Russian government would continue providing ample financial assistance to defense industry enterprises.

"We will not leave our defense enterprises to face problems caused by the world financial crisis on their own," Ivanov said.

Russia has doubled annual arms exports since 2000 to $7 billion as of last year, becoming the world's second-largest exporter of conventional arms after the United States.

Russia exports weapons to about 80 countries. Among the key buyers of Russian-made weaponry are China, India, Algeria, Venezuela, Iran, Malaysia and Serbia.

The most popular types of weaponry bought from Russia are Sukhoi and MiG fighters, air defense systems, helicopters, battle tanks, armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles.

Russia also maintains traditionally strong positions in the sales of small arms and light weapons (SALW), and anti-tank and surface-to-air missile systems.