Israel's Minister of Defense Ehud Barak flew to Russia last night and met today with his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov. The two men signed a military cooperation agreement.
Barak said, "Russia is one of the world's major powers and has influence in the Middle East."
The Russian army has recently expressed interest in buying Israeli-made Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). A senior source at an Israeli company that manufactures UAVs told "Globes," "The Russians are particularly interested in purchasing medium sized UAVs that will have the power to serve their defense needs."
Although the Russians have officially asked Israel for such equipment, the Ministry of Defense decided to reject the request. The source said, "We have many restrictions regarding the export of weapons among other things because of the Americans. So we are not able to sell whatever we can and everything a potential client wants. We also have advanced technologies that we want to keep to ourselves."
Sources inform "Globes" that Barak and his entourage hope to seal deals related to miniaturized weapon systems for use in densely populated areas.
Israel also hopes to interest the Russians in tactical missiles. The source told "Globes", "Israel has much to sell the Russians in this area and I believe there will be much demand from the Russians for the systems we will offer. For example: advance systems for protecting strategic installations; systems for fighting in built-up areas; and other systems for fighting terror. In all matters related to this we have carte blanche and there is a lot to talk about."
While in Russia, Barak will also meet with prime minister Vladimir Putin to discuss the Iranian threat and arms sales to Syria and Hezbollah.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 6, 2010
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