Putin boasts about rising Russian arms sales abroad

March 22, 2017 GMT

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin says Russia’s arms sales abroad last year have topped $15 billion.

Putin, speaking Wednesday at a meeting with officials, said Russia last year also signed $9.5 billion in new arms-export contracts, which currently total $50 billion.

He said that Russia accounts for nearly a quarter of global arms sales, coming in second after the U.S.

Putin said Moscow plans to expand its share of the global arms market, adding that a military campaign in Syria has demonstrated the “remarkable reliability and efficiency” of Russian weapons.

Russia has waged an air campaign in Syria since September 2015, helping Syrian President Bashar Assad’s military to win some key ground.