Our huge advantage is that we can offer comprehensive projects to equip the armed forces and other security agencies of the partner countries rather than just supply any specific item
Deputy director general, Rosoboronexport, Sergey Goreslavsky
Sergey Goreslavsky Rosoboronexport was set up in 2000 when Russian defence industrial complex did not have experience of doing business in the world market. Over the years, what reforms has Rosoboronexport undertaken to stay relevant to the times?
I cannot agree with such a formulation of the question. The world’s arms market in the form usual for us today did not begin to emerge until the early Nineties, when the bipolar world was disintegrating. Before that, cooperation in the defence sector largely proceeded on the ‘bloc’ principle, depending on the spread of influence of the two superpowers. So, by the time Rosoboronexport was established, Russian manufacturers had exactly the same experience in the world market as the rest of the major players. Let me remind you that last year we celebrated the 60th anniversary of Russia’s system of military-technical cooperation.

Over this lengthy period of time, the Soviet Union and then Russia has been consistently expanding cooperation with foreign countries, gaining invaluable long-term experience of cooperation with partners, among them such traditional partners as India. To this end, special organisations were used, whose successor is Rosoboronexport. The countries with experience of implementing large-scale military-technical cooperation projects in all regions around the world comparable to that of Russia can be counted on one hand. Of course, the Nineties saw a serious transformation of all government institutions.

During this period, there were two Russian state arms export intermediaries, Rosvooruzhenie and Promexport, which competed with each other, plus some companies carried on independent foreign economic activity. Such decentralisation proved obviously ineffective and could not guarantee the maintenance of Russia's leading position on the international market. That is why it was decided to establish a presidential vertical of power, merge the two intermediaries into a single entity, Rosoboronexport, and strengthen state control over arms exports. A more than quadruple increase in arms exports through Rosoboronexport since 2000 is the best evidence that the decision was right.

What exactly has Rosoboronexport undertaken to make such growth possible?
A comprehensive marketing strategy that provided for expanding the sales geography and diversification was developed. Our huge advantage is that we can offer comprehensive projects to equip the armed forces and other security agencies of the partner countries rather than just supply any specific item.

Venezuela, where we have re-equipped the national army and air force and have dramatically increased the air defence capabilities within a short period of time, is a perfect example. In addition, following global trends, we build up not just buyer-seller relationships with our partners but move towards the long-term science and technology cooperation, joint development, establishing production facilities at the customer premises.

Why was Rosoboronexport brought under Rostec? How has this improved efficiency?
This move should be viewed in line with the national strategy for building core public corporations, which, owing to their larger management competencies and financial capacity, could consolidate knowledge-intensive industries, comprehensively promote Russian high-tech products on foreign markets and develop long-term technological cooperation with foreign countries and companies.

Rostec has encompassed both many leading Russian defence enterprises and manufacturers of civilian products. Rosoboronexport and Rostec share common representative offices abroad which are involved in both military-technical cooperation and other Rostec’s international projects. In addition, we can now offer even more interesting and innovative projects related to offset agreements, because Rostec has competences in a variety of areas, including mining.

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