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Kalashnikov Against US Double Standards

Category: Defence Industry

On April 15, 2006 a briefing for Russian and foreign journalists with participation of the chief designer of Izhmach Concern JSC, Rosoboronexport State Corporation director general adviser, president of the Union of Russian gunmakers, lieutenant-general Mikhail T. Kalashnikov was held in the Moscow office of Rosoboronexport.

At the briefing top-managers of Rosoboronexport and Izhmach Concern JSC applied to public.

An occasion of the meeting was the article published in the American newspaper "The Washington Times", which referring to an anonymous source in the US Administration gave information that Russia had sold to Venezuela a batch of supposedly refurbished AK-47 assault rifles instead of the promised new ones.

Speaking at the briefing the chief of administration staff of Rosoboronexport director general Dmitry Shugaev declared that in May 2005 on behalf of the Government of the Russian Federation the Rosoboronexport State Corporation concluded a contract with Venezuela to deliver a batch of a new generation AK-103 Kalashnikov assault rifles. Izhmach Concern JSC is an executive of the contract. Dmitry Shugaev marked that Russia strictly observed her obligations in full compliance with specified terms of delivery.

In the framework of the briefing questions concerning protection of Russian small arms designers' intellectual property were raised, public attention was drawn to the facts of unlicensed production and selling of Kalashnikov weapons. Every year illegal circulation of unlicensed light weapons reaches up to 2 bln US dollars. Infringing Kalashnikov assault rifles made in the worst traditions of unlicensed manufacturing constitute up to 80-90 %. Thus, an unjustified damage is caused to the image of Russia as a leading exporter of up-to-date armament and military equipment, the world-famous Russian brand of Kalashnikov assault rifles is discredited.

Dmitry Shugaev underlined, that when small arms were delivered with overdue licences or without such at all, intergovernmental agreements and norms of international law were roughly broken. Russia does her best to provide protection of intellectual activity results in the sphere of high defence technologies. This is a matter of special importance on the eve of Russia's joining World Trade Organisation.

The spokesmen expressed a common hope that international legal institutions would intensify their activities to finally regulate relationship between Russia and foreign states in the field of licence production and work out effective instruments to counteract illegal forms of arms trade.


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