Is the Defense Ministry pulling back the reins on efforts to purchase foreign-made weapons and other military equipment?
Late last month, armaments chief Vladimir Popovkin said that Moscow would put German armor on its combat vehicles, perhaps laying to rest rumors that Russia might buy entire vehicles abroad.
Last Thursday, Popovkin and others seemed to put limits on buying more UAVs from Israel, calling the process more of a learning experience to improve Russia’s domestic models.
Then Friday, the press says OSK may have started a formal antimonopoly complaint against Defense Ministry efforts to buy the French Mistral helicopter carrier. But OSK Board Chairman, Deputy Prime Minister, and Putin confidant Igor Sechin is in charge of negotiating Mistral’s purchase from Paris.
It certainly seems that the reins have been pulled back on foreign procurement somewhat. But there’s a lot to these threads and not enough time to run them down.