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    Russian military hardware exports top $6 bln in 2005 - Putin

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    "Russia's military exports have achieved another success: the 2005 results exceed target by 20% and their volume topped $6 billion," the president said at a meeting of the committee for military-technical cooperation.

    MOSCOW, March 31 (RIA Novosti) - Russia increased its military hardware exports to more than $6 billion in 2005 and supplied 61 countries, President Vladimir Putin said Friday.

    "Russia's military exports have achieved another success: the 2005 results exceed target by 20% and their volume topped $6 billion," the president said at a meeting of the committee for military-technical cooperation.

    Putin said "major achievements" included sales of naval hardware and increased cooperation with the Commonwealth of Independent States, the loose alliance of countries that replaced the Soviet Union, and the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a grouping that unites six CIS members in closer security efforts.

    The president highlighted contacts with Southeast Asia and in the Middle East, saying that regional powerhouses India and China remained leading importers of Russian armaments.

    He was also upbeat about the recent arms export agreements with Algeria. Contracts for the delivery of 40 MiG-29SMT Fulcrum fighters, 20 Su-30 MK Flanker fighters, 16 Yak-130 Mitten combat trainers, eight battalions of S-300 PMU2 Favorite air defense systems and 40 T-90 main battle tanks were signed during Putin's recent visit to the North African country.

    Russia's state-controlled arms exporter, Rosoboronexport, accounts for 85% of a total country's arms exports, with the Sukhoi aircraft holding, and aerospace corporations MiG and Salut accounting for the remaining 15%.

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