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Saudi sets condition for arms purchase from Russia

File photo of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (3rd R) talking with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, Adel al-Jubeir (2nd L) during G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Bonn, Germany on February 16, 2017 [Cem Özdel / Anadolu Agency]
File photo of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (3rd R) talking with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, Adel al-Jubeir (2nd L) during G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Bonn, Germany on February 16, 2017 [Cem Özdel / Anadolu Agency]

Moscow and Riyadh have signed a preliminary military cooperation agreement worth $3.5 billion, Russia Today (RT) reported today, quoting the CEO of Russia’s Rostec Corporation, Sergei Chemezov.

“Within the framework of the new round of talks, we have reached a preliminary agreement worth $3.5 billion,” Chimezov said, pointing out that the Saudi government has imposed some conditions for the implementation of the deal.

Saudi Arabia, Chimezov added, has however stipulated that the deal will come into effect on condition that Moscow provide Riyadh with transfer of technology and start manufacturing in the kingdom.

Read: UK court: Arms sales to Saudi Arabia can continue despite fears of war crimes

The Russian official stressed that Moscow is currently mulling the Saudis proposal. “We are now thinking about what we can propose to them,” he said, adding that “it is possible to establish a light weapons production plant on the Saudi territory, such as Kalashnikov rifle.”

Rostec is a Moscow-headquartered state-run company that specialises in manufacturing and exporting high-tech military products.

Over the past five years, Russia signed several contracts with Saudi Arabia worth $20 billion; however, they have not been implemented.

 

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