Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 235

Valeri Mikhaylov, chairman of the Russian government’s Defense Industry Department, said on December 12 that the proceeds from the sale of military equipment to China would be used to finance "the development of the newest types of armaments" for Russia’s own military. Mikhaylov also suggested that such foreign sales are critical to the survival of Russia’s cash-strapped defense industrial sector. Although Mikhaylov claimed that there had been no objections to the recent talks in Beijing on military-technical cooperation between the two countries, some voices in Russia have urged caution on the question of arming Beijing. Liu Huaqing, the vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, looked to quiet such concerns on December 12 when he said that the Su-27 fighter — currently being acquired by China from Russia –i s "not at the cutting edge of development efforts in this field…." (Itar-Tass, December 12)

All of the military reform programs broached to date in Russia have recognized the need to field the most modern arms for the country’s shrinking armed forces. In the short term, at least, this will be very difficult without foreign revenues from arms sales. The paradox for Russian planners is that some of this money will probably have to come from potential enemies.

Ukraine Mixes Conciliation and Firmness in Signals to Russia.