Putin hails Russian arms sales abroad

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says that arms sales abroad have continued to increase over the past year.

Speaking Monday at a meeting with top officials, Putin said that arms exports are expected to top $13 billion this year, which he said exceeds last year’s sales by more than $2 billion.

The Russian leader added that Moscow’s positions on the global arms market have continued to strengthen despite Western sanctions.

Russian arms shipments abroad this year included the delivery of the S-400 air defense missile systems to Turkey — a deal that vexed Washington.

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Putin said Russian arms manufacturers now have foreign orders totaling $50 billion.

During the meeting, Putin urged Russian officials to pay special attention to arms sales to Africa and show a “flexible” approach to deliveries and payments. Russia hosted an Africa summit in October in a bid to expand its clout on the continent by touting military aid and economic projects.

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