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08MOSCOW1503 2008-05-28 13:56:00 SECRET Embassy Moscow
Cable title:  

INSIDE THE FEDERAL SERVICE FOR MILITARY-TECHNICAL

Tags:   ETRD ETTC PGOV PREL RS MASS 
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1. (C) Summary: On May 22, officials from the Federal
Service For Military-Technical Cooperation (FSVTS) explained
how their organization coordinates Russian military-technical
cooperation with over 20 GOR entities and works with 84
countries. The FSVTS manages RosOboronExport (ROE), issues
export licenses to Russian arms companies, and is the first
entity customers for Russian weapons approach before they
make a purchase. The FSVTS manages the lists of products
Russian arms companies can sell and to whom. It also
conducts end-user inspections after sales are completed. As
an example of the GOR's "stringent" export controls, FSVTS
cited end-user checks of deliveries to Syria. End Summary.



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FSVTS At A Glance


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2. (C) On May 22 FSVTS Chief of the Second Department on
Military-Technical Cooperation with Foreign States Aleksandr
Skobeltsin, Advisor to the FSVTS Director Gennady Buchukuri,
and FSVTS Protocol Official Yelena Kavtyreva told us the
FSVTS is responsible for coordinating Russia's
military-technical cooperation with 84 countries.
Established by Presidential Decree 1083, dated August 16,
2004, FSVTS has over 300 employees. Its Director, Mikhail
Dmitriev, has minister-equivalent rank, despite the fact that
the FSVTS is technically under the jurisdiction of the MOD.
FSVTS duties also include, but are not limited to, organizing
trade shows and managing ROE (ref A). According to
Skobeltsin, the FSVTS will "most likely" manage
RosTechnologiya, although this is not yet certain.



3. (C) According to Skobeltsin, the FSVTS coordinates Russian
military-technical cooperation with the MOD, MFA, Ministry of
Industry, ROE, and approximately 20 other GOR entities. When
disputes arise, the Presidential Committee for
Military-Technical Cooperation (PCMTC) decides the issue.
The president of Russia directs the activities of the FSVTS.



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Managing The Export Lists


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4. (C) Skobeltsin told us the FSVTS is the only GOR entity
that issues export licenses for Russian arms dealers. The
FSVTS also manages the lists of which products Russian arms
manufacturers can export and to whom, and takes part in
negotiations with foreign entities that wish to purchase
Russian weapons. The list of products Russian arms dealers
can export is initially drawn up by the MOD, while the MFA
draws up the list of possible customers. For each country to
which Russia exports arms, there is a list of acceptable
customers. The Ministry of Industry and about 20 other GOR
bodies weigh in as well. Before an arms sale takes place, it
must be verified that the product and the customer are both
on the respective lists. These lists were last updated in


2007. Skobeltsin argued that Russian arms companies do not
sell to customers that are sanctioned by the United Nations.



5. (C) According to Skobeltsin, customers must first approach
the FSVTS to purchase weapons from Russian arms dealers. If
the customer is already approved to purchase the requested
weapons system, then the FSVTS simply refers the customer to
ROE to conduct the transaction. If not, then the
aforementioned interagency process must approve the sale.



6. (C) Product upgrades requested by customers are considered
on a case-by-case basis. The FSVTS readily refers requests
for minor upgrades and new purchases of slightly upgraded
equipment to ROE. Purchases of highly upgraded equipment,
such as India's recent purchase of Su-30MKI multi-role
fighters, must be reviewed by the PCMTC. In the case of the
Su-30MKI, Skobeltsin said, major upgrades of the engine,
navigation, and avionics were requested, which triggered the
PCMTC review.




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End-User Verification


--------------------------





7. (C) The FSVTS is in charge of export control and end-user
verification. According to Skobeltsin, all Russian arms
contracts include clauses that the buyer will not re-export
the product without GOR approval and will accept GOR
inspections to ensure end-user compliance. Skobeltsin also
said the FSVTS verifies the end-user before the contract is
signed. If violations occur, then the GOR can sanction the
customer. Buchukuri said, however, that the GOR will not
issue sanctions that could ruin relations with a country.
Skobeltsin added that he has never seen a confirmed instance
of export control violations involving Russian arms.



8. (S) To illustrate the inspections process, Skobeltsin and
Buchukuri said that, when concerns were raised that Hezbollah
had used Russian anti-tank missiles acquired from Syria
against the Israeli army in the 2006 Lebanon war, the GOR
sent 12 inspectors from the FSVTS, MOD, MFA, Ministry of
Industry, "and other organizations" to Damascus. He said the
inspectors had seen the weapons Russia sold to Syria still in
their boxes in a warehouse and concluded they had never been
used. (Note: This directly contradicts MFA DVBR statements
to us in October 2006 (ref B) that corrupt Syrian military
officers had indeed transferred anti-tank missiles to
Hezbollah. Our working-level DVBR contacts have also
recently made statements similar to those of our FSVTS
interlocutors.) Skobeltsin argued that many countries copy
Russian weapons and could have sold anti-tank weapons to
Hezbollah.



9. (C) Skobeltsin told us that Russia has "stringent" export
controls that make it "impossible" for Russian arms to end up
in the wrong hands because the GOR wants to prevent the
proliferation of certain weapons, such as anti-tank missiles.
When asked about Latvia's request to transfer approximately
6,000 7.62mm rifles to the Afghan national army (ref C),
Skobeltsin admitted there were delays but said this was an
example that proved Russian export controls work. (Note:
Skobeltsin said the request was still under consideration.)



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Comment


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10. (S) While we doubt the veracity of Skobeltsin's claims
about the GOR's export controls, he and Buchukuri were
jovial, polished professionals at the meeting. We plan to
accept Skobeltsin's invitation to meet with him on a regular
basis to learn more about the role FSVTS plays in Russia's
military-technical cooperation with other countries.

RUSSELL