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Russian President Vladimir Putin Monday said his country is ready to distribute advanced weapons around the world, including to Latin America, which it says are superior to other weapons systems.
“Russia values historically strong, friendly, truly reliable relations with the states of Latin America, Asia and Africa and is ready to provide its partners and friends with the most modern types of weapons,” Putin said at the opening of the Army-2022 international military and technical forum outside Moscow. “From small arms to armored vehicles and artillery, to fighter jets and unmanned aerial vehicles.”
Putin added that “almost all” of the weapons he is willing to sell around the world have been used more than once in war, claiming that Russian-made products are superior to those made by its foreign competitors.
“Many of them are years, or maybe even decades, ahead of their foreign counterparts and significantly superior to them in terms of strategic and technical characteristics,” Putin said.
Rebecca Koffler, a former US DIA intelligence officer focused on Russia and author of “Putin’s Playbook: Russia’s Secret Plan to Defeat America,” told Fox News Digital that Putin’s comments reflect his desire to increase his country’s influence around the world.
“Putin is reaching every corner of the world, especially now that Russia is becoming isolated Western restrictionsKoffler said. “He’s trying to bring his own version of the Monroe Doctrine to pursue his influence that the Russians believe we’re violating by trying to democratize countries like Ukraine.”
Koffler explained that Russia’s overtures to him Latin American Allies such as Venezuela and Cuba have been “escalating” in recent months and could be part of plans to establish a possible military base in the region.
Koffler said Putin is telling the world that he believes Russia’s “value system is superior” and that he is “countering US influence” and “trying to demonstrate his regime” by presenting a united front with his dictator-led allies in the Western Hemisphere. . are as legitimate as democratic governments.”
Putin’s statement also signaled he “needs additional revenue” in light of U.S. sanctions stemming from Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, Koffler explained. He was “always interested in supporting cooperative authoritarian regimes.”
Koffler acknowledged that Russian weapons may not be as sophisticated as U.S. weapons in all areas, but the Pentagon considers the country a “near peer” competitor in that segment, and weapons ranging from AK-47s to S-400 surface-to-air missile systems could end up in the hands of groups around the world that They represent a “long-term threat” of “killing Americans.”
“It’s not just Latin America, it’s all over,” Koffler said of Putin’s plans to send weapons to allies. “It’s China, North KoreaAnd Iran too.”
It is second only to Russia United Nations Arms sales are about $15 billion a year, about one-fifth of the global export market. From 2017-2021, 73% of those sales went to just four countries: India, China, Egypt and Algeria, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Reuters contributed to this report.