President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon.
Dmitry Shugayev, Director of the Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation: Good afternoon.
Vladimir Putin: Mr Shugayev, we discuss military technical cooperation on a regular basis. We have created a special agency to help promote our equipment on international markets. Still, I would like to hear your assessments of how this work has been progressing in the first months of this year compared to 2020.
Dmitry Shugayev: Mr President, everything is going according to plan – that’s the plan we adopted in 2020. Most importantly, we have kept with last year’s figures. The total amount of our projects exceeds 15 billion, or 102 percent of the target. We have secured a portfolio of contracts, which is vital, exceeding $50 billion. This is one of the main indicators that give us confidence in the future, for defence companies as well as the entire military technical cooperation system.
The military technical cooperation system has been naturally affected by the pandemic. This includes our relations with our partners: our relations, our contacts have shrunk due to objective circumstances. Our marketing activities have been severely affected. For example, almost all international exhibitions were closed. One exception was our Army 2020 forum in Kubinka. That was the only major international event actually held last year.
Vladimir Putin: It is receiving more and more attention.
Dmitry Shugayev: Yes, absolutely. It is almost a legendary event now.
It is very important to note that we still have contacts with certain regions, primarily our partners from Asia and Africa. We maintain relations with more than 100 states, and we have supplied our equipment to 51 countries.
That is, today, Mr President, we are moving forward confidently. And the most important thing is, we are talking multibillion-dollar supplies, even today. I am primarily referring to our top-notch equipment for the air force and air defence, of course – these enjoy the greatest demand.
Still, we should not disregard our ground-force and naval equipment, of course – this equipment is also in demand. Admittedly, we have to operate in a tough competitive environment, and under very, very difficult conditions. Moreover, our competitors, despite the overall difficult situation, keep stepping up influence on our partners.
In this sense, we are facing unprecedented pressure and we can see that our partners are under very, very strong pressure. But we are taking into account the interests of our old partners and, of course, we are striving to establish good relations with new ones, to meet them halfway. Military technical cooperation seems to love silence sometimes.
Vladimir Putin: I see. Thank you.