A controversial report made by the research service of the US Congress, called “Weapons supplies to developing countries 1998-2005”, claims that in 2006 Russia became the leader in weapon export to developing countries, with an amazing amount of $7.1 billion! What is more interesting in this report, in contradiction with the Federal Commission of technical and military cooperation of Russia, is the fact that the US are estimated only on the third place, with $6.126 billion, after France in the second place, with $6.3 billion exports.


The contradiction between the two official sources is significant, since the second institution estimated the volume of Russian weapon exports at only $6.2 billion. The difference between the reports is formed not only by account sales of additional types of weapons, but also by several land anti-aircraft defense systems and a few air tankers sold by the Russian government to Iran! Although the affair cost around 700 thousand dollars, a small percentage (about 0,1%) of the huge $7,1 billion amount, what is essential is the help offered to Iran, a country where the risk of war is at the highest level in the world. At the beginning of 2007, the Russians have confusedly confirmed another transaction of about $1 billion, concerning the modernization of the Iranian army. Moreover, the country Iran is having most problems with… Russia’s „old friend” USA.


Now, that shouldn’t be surprising. Even if the cold war ended and further negotiations have tried bringing together the two huge nations in the last 17 years, Russia is still the weapon supplier for the “rebel nations” such as Venezuela, Syria, the Palestinians and other countries in South-East Asia, the kind of partners the Western countries and especially US do not agree with.


Taking into account the recent reactions from Moscow and the last few years of trying to regain the lost power and authority of the USSR, I wonder if the Russian help provided to the enemies of USA and NATO is not just another form of fighting with the West? Is Russia trying to regain the lost prestige and has no problem with starting a new cold war? And is this recovery sustainable? Can it bring a huge Federation to such a high level of development in order to compete with the whole Western world again? The following years promise to become very interesting in the international context.

Bianca Ilarie