Pro-Russian Crimeans wave Russian flags after exit polls showed that about 93 percent of voters in Ukraine's Crimea region supported union with Russia. (DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP)
WARSAW — Russia’s state-owned arms exporter Rosoboronexport has announced it is taking over the export of arms and military equipment made by defense manufacturers based in Ukraine’s Crimea, which is currently under Russian control.
Rosoboronexport is part of the country’s defense giant Rostec. The group will help Crimea-based defense firms complete their arms export contracts, Rostec said in a statement.
“The Federal Service For Military-Technical Cooperation has drafted a presidential decree which establishes the rules of importing and exporting military equipment [made in Crimea],” the statement said. “Under the new rules, Rosoboronexport will serve as an intermediate.”
This means that about 30 companies located in the Crimean peninsula, including shipbuilders, aviation and ammunition plants, will be integrated into Russia’s defense industry.
In March, Russia annexed Ukraine’s breakaway Crimea following a controversial referendum to join Russia that was held in the presence of pro-Russian troops. Ukraine did not recognize the results of the referendum and continues to treat the peninsula as its territory.
Rosoboronexport handles more than 80 percent of Russia’s export of weapons and military equipment.
In 2013, Rostec’s revenues generated by orders placed by the Russian Ministry of Defense increased by 43 percent to 281.1 billion rubles (US $8.1 billion).