Russia to sign contract to sell tanks to Algerians, Turkmens
Russian T-90 tanks drive through Moscow’s Red Square at a Victory Day parade. AFP photoRussia has signed contracts to sell 120 T-90C tanks to Algeria and 30 to Turkmenistan, Vedomosti business daily reported yesterday, citing sources in the arms industry.
The contracts, which follow earlier defense contracts with the countries, would be worth at least $500 million, defence analyst Konstantin Makiyenko told the newspaper.
Russia signed the contract with Algeria in autumn 2011 and the contract with Turkmenistan in summer 2011, Vedomosti reported, citing a source close to the arms export agency and a manager at state corporation Rostechnology.
The Arab Spring protests last year triggered unrest in Algeria and led its president to pledge reforms.
The energy-rich ex-Soviet state of Turkmenistan on Feb. 13 reelected its strongman President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov with over 97 percent of the vote.
Russia earlier supplied Algeria with 185 T-90C tanks in 2009 and supplied Turkmenistan with 10 tanks to fulfill a 2010 contract, the newspaper reported.
he new contracts would make Russia the world’s largest tank exporter in 2012, beating China, said the editor of Moscow Defense Brief, Mikhail Barabanov.
Last year Russian army chief Alexander Postnikov complained to the Russian Senate about the high cost of the new T-90 tank model, saying that he could buy three German tanks for its price of 18 million rubles ($600,545).
However, Russian Prime Minister Valdimir Putin said in September that producer Uralvagonzavod had made changes to the design of the T-90S which addressed criticism of its range of fire.
Putin pledged 64 billion roubles ($2.165 billion) from the federal budget over the next few years for Uralvagonzavod.