Russia will replace more than 50% of its military equipment from Ukraine by the end of 2015 as it implements two import substitution programs, according to the spokesman of the Russian Defense Ministry on Friday.
According to the Defense Ministry spokesman, Russia is also substituting its military equipment from NATO countries. The spokesman said, “Both programs are being implemented. Talking about Ukraine, elements will be replaced by 53% by the end of the year, these are spare parts. If we are talking about equipment, then it will be around 67%.”
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The spokesman informed journalists that Russia will build new equipment. He said, the country no longer need the outdated military equipment from Ukraine.
Earlier this month, Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov said Russia will replace 826 types of armaments and military hardware from Ukraine, European Union (EU), and NATO countries by 2015.
He said, “Over the first six months of 2015, we substituted Ukrainian components and spare parts in 57 out of 102 planned armament categories. As for components from the NATO and EU countries, we made full-cycle import substitution for seven out of 127 planned armament types.”
Russia’s defense industry is rapidly developing despite sanctions
The spokesman emphasized that Russia’s defense industry is rapidly developing despite the economic sanctions imposed on it by the Western powers primarily due to its annexation of Crimea and alleged involvement in the Ukraine crisis.
The United States and its Western allies criticized Moscow for allegedly supporting the pro-Russian separatists fighting against Ukraine in the eastern region of the country. Russian President Vladimir Putin repeatedly denied the accusations.
According to Ukraine’s Security Forces, they captured a Russian Army Major, who allegedly delivered explosives to the separatists earlier this week.
Political observers suggested that the Ukraine crisis severely damaged the relationship between Russian and the United States since the Cold War. The United States together with its NATO allies increased its military exercises near the Russian border.
“In 2012 and 2013 NATO conducted on the average nearly 90-95 exercises near Russia’s borders. Now they conduct about 150 exercises. There’s been a sharp increase in [reconnaissance aviation] flights – their number grew nine times,” according to the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman.
Russia will respond to further extension of sanctions from Washington
Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry said the government will respond to Washington’s further extension of sanctions. Washington recently added five Russian citizens and 15 companies involved in the Ukraine crisis to its sanction list.
According to the Foreign Ministry, the United States once again chose a tougher confrontation by imposing new sanctions against Russian citizens and companies.
“Keeping on motivating such steps by the situation in Ukraine, Washington continues to exercise in expanding the anti-Russian sanction campaign instead of pushing Kiev towards implementation of the Minsk agreements,” according to the Foreign Ministry.
Furthermore, the Foreign Ministry emphasized it would naturally react to such provocative actions,” which ruins the Russian-US relations and hampers cooperation in solving other global problems.