Russia challenges US hegemony
International desk || shiningbd
Five years since its return to the Middle East with a military base in Syria, Russia is moving into weapons markets left vacant by the United States and boosting sales to traditional clients.
Moscow’s expanding arms sales bring money and geopolitical influence, as it seeks to challenge US hegemony.
On February 25, Russia officially announced that Egypt had received five Sukhoi Su-35 advanced multi-role fighter aircraft, the first of an order of 24.
Egypt ordered the planes despite threats of US sanctions after Washington refused to sell Cairo its fifth-generation F-35 fighter-bomber.
Turkey, a NATO ally, is in talks with Russia to buy the Su-35 and eventually the state-of-the-art Su-57 fifth generation combat plane, after being shut out of the US’s F-35 programme.
On March 12, Russia announced it was ready to open official negotiations with Ankara, and to help Turkey develop its own fifth-generation fighter, the TF-X.
Algeria, Russia’s biggest customer in the MENA, is to receive 14 upgraded Sukhoi-34 light bomber jets this year, and is also reportedly interested in the Su-57.
Iran, an historic client of Russian weaponry since the days of the Shah, is free to consider Russian goods again, since a decade-long UN arms embargo against the Islamic republic expired in October.
In part, Russia is marketing its weapons because they are a major source of foreign currency, experts said.