Russian has the upper hand in arms race with the West, says Russian minister

Russian has the upper hand in arms race with the West, says Russian minister

Russian has the upper hand in arms race with the West, says Russian minister

Russia has an advantage in weapons production over the West and aims to keep the rate of expansion high, a top Russian official said on Monday, after both the West and Russia increased arms production for the Ukraine war.

Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, sparking Europe’s worst battle since World War II and the most serious confrontation between Russia and the West since the Cold War’s height.

Ukraine and its Western supporters increased armaments manufacturing in an attempt to combat Russian soldiers on Ukrainian battlefields. Russia increased output as well, but blames the West for the conflict, which Moscow dates back to 2014.

“I don’t want to boast, but I can say that we began to gain and picked up the pace of production earlier than Western countries,” Denis Manturov, the deputy prime minister who oversees arms production, told the RIA news agency.

“Another question is how long this race will last,” Manturov said, adding that a 2025-2034 armament plan was due to be approved next year.

President Vladimir Putin and his defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, have said that production of artillery, drones, tanks and armoured vehicles is soaring.

Some former leaders of the West have spoken about a new Cold War between Russia and China on one side and the United States and its allies on the other, though Russia’s $2 trillion economy would find it hard to counter the entire might of the West alone for long.

According to IMF data, the United States’ nominal gross domestic product was $27 trillion this year while China’s was $17.7 trillion.

“We must both replenish reserves and maintain the given rate of production,” Manturov said.

“As far as it comes to the guts of Western countries – here I would not want to speak for them.”

Manturov said that the volume of state defence orders in 2023 has doubled over the prior year, with production of “certain weapons” rising ten-fold.