Arms export is an important element of Russia’s resurgence as a great power. Selling weapons may benefit a country both commercially and in terms of geopolitical influence. Russia has for many years been the world’s second largest arms exporter. However, new figures from SIPRI suggest that Russian arms sales may now be in long term decline. What is the future of Russian arms exports? What production capabilities, customers and export policies will Russia have for its arms exports in the years to come?

Since 2010 the Russian arms industry has tried to accommodate an unprecedented surge in domestic demand for weapons and maintain high export figures at the same time. To a significant extent the industry has been able to do this, but critics nevertheless claim that the companies are little reformed, lacking in private incentive, and not really prepared for the technological challenges of the future.

Today therefore, there is uncertainty about how the industry will be able to compete in a world of rapidly changing technologies and a rising number of competitors. Furthermore, there is also uncertainty about who the customers will be. That is not only a question of technological competitiveness and price, is also a matter of what export policies that best serve Russian geopolitical interests.

In this seminar the Russian experts Ruslan Pukhov and Konstantin Makienko from the independent think-tank CAST in Moscow will give their assessments both of how ready the arms industry is to meet the future, and by what principles decisions on what to sell to whom are likely to be taken now and in the future.

Ruslan Pukhov is the Director at Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies. Konstantin Makienko is the Deputy Director at Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies.

Discussant is Una Hakvåg, Research Fellow at FFI. The seminar will be moderated by Helge Blakkisrud, Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Research group on Russia, Asia and International Trade at NUPI.

The event will be live streamed on NUPI's YouTube channel: