Russia enters Bahrain’s arms market

Russia enters Bahrain’s arms market Russia for the first time begins deliveries of arms to Bahrain - after France and Great Britain imposed sanctions on the kingdom for repressions against the opposition. This was reported yesterday by Bloomberg, citing an unnamed source close to the Russian defense ministry. The source said that the contract for the delivery of the AK-103 assault rifles (grenade launchers) of grenade launchers and ammunition, the cost of which is estimated at tens of millions of dollars, is already in force.

Meanwhile, in February 2011, France and the United Kingdom banned national manufacturers from supplying products that could be used to quell unrest to Bahrain.


“Bilateral relations between Russia and Bahrain are rapidly strengthening,” said Bahrain’s government spokesman Abdulaziz bin Mubarak Al-Khalifa. “We look forward to working with Russia in the trade and technical areas. One of such promising areas is the supply of light and small weapons". He refused to disclose the details of MTC with Russia.

In response to the agency’s request, Rosoboronexport escaped with the general wording: “The states of the region are interested in Russian air defense systems, aircraft industry products and armaments for the ground forces.”

According to the ROE, a mutually beneficial partnership with Bahrain is intended to strengthen Russia's position in the market of the Gulf monarchies associated with close allied relations with the United States.

During the exhibition of weapons and military equipment in the capital of Bahrain, Manama in 2010, the head of state, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, climbed into the cockpit of the Russian fighter Su-27. According to the representative of the country's government, “the king’s interest in this extremely famous aircraft in the world means a lot - in particular (the fact of recognition by the king) that Russia is one of the world leaders.”

Russia opposes the US draft resolution of the UN Security Council on Syria, reminds Bloomberg. The cost of arms contracts in Russia and Syria is estimated by the Moscow Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, at least at 3 billion dollars, the agency reminds. These include anti-ship missiles, MiG-29 fighters and Pantsir air defense systems.

P. 2 is experiencing some bewilderment: it is unlikely that Iranian and Libyan contracts can be considered an adequate price for the praise of the Bahraini kingside Russian fighter. Something is wrong here.

ROE, undoubtedly, makes maximum efforts to promote Russian defense products to the markets of the region, however, the foreign policy initiatives of the head of Russia seem to be not in the slightest degree consistent with the interests of the state intermediary and the industry.

Strictly speaking, if Russia were a great power and stand at its head as a shrewd leader, one could try playing foreign idealism and, indeed, abandon military-technical cooperation and support for the most odious, anti-people and inadequate regimes in the region - Saudi Arabia, Libya, Iran, perhaps Syria We will not wait for any pro-Russian orientation or at least elements of pro-Russian policy from their current leadership. Hypocritical pragmatism in the spirit of "this is our son of a bitch (Bahrain and Saudi), and this is not our son of a bitch (Libya and Syria)" can be left to the authors of this stupid aphorism - they are already completely bogged down in their cynical calculations, as happened with bin Laden, eg.

Obviously, there is a huge demand in the region for a new, more frank, honest and fair vision. Regimes - both secular military and religious monarchist - are bursting at the seams, and the West, not from great foolishness, is now crammed into adventures like the Libyan one. The USA, France and Britain, apparently, are trying not to miss the initiative, to act, albeit erroneously, but dynamically - they lead, if I may, with reconnaissance in force.

Convulsive initiatives of Russia in the person of its president (according to the Constitution, the president determines the foreign policy of the Russian Federation, and the government and the foreign ministry are mostly executors), who then runs ahead of the locomotive, toughening the UN resolution regarding Iran, then passively surrenders Libya, then defends Syria now it supplies the rifle to Bahrain, which is not going to stand on ceremony with its opposition, these initiatives are neither logical, nor intelligible, nor far-sighted.

It would be appropriate and, in the end, politely, if we were finally told - what are the interests of Russia in the region? That is, we will not sell the means of protection against external aggression to Iran, but will we sell automatic weapons and ammunition for reprisals against Bahraini oppositionists? Arithmetically - unprofitable, strategically - not clear.

Here is the thought that comes to mind. Iran, as is known, is a Shiite country. Internal instability in Bahrain is also a consequence of the unrest of the Shiites, who constitute the majority of the country's population, but are severely constrained by the ruling Sunni elite. It is also known that Shiites in the Gulf clearly and secretly support Iran. Maybe the Russian leadership has some kind of secret allergy to Shiism or a related injury? Maybe the Saudi spies came to the helm?
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