LBW

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Russia To Supply Nigeria With Arms And Ammunitions

Nigeria will be receiving a new supply of arms and weapons from no less than Russia, the United States' archenemy.



According to portal channelstv.com, citing a report by global political risk consulting firm DaMina Advisors, Russia was more than eager to supply the Nigerian army weapons and helicopter gunships so as to fight and defeat the Boko Haram insurgents. The report noted, however, it was the country's scheme to amp its influence over other major oil producers as well as a means to scout new markets for its sanctioned local arms.

But Daniel Wagner, CEO of Country Risk Solutions, said that Russia agreed to the sale meant more than just the usual desire to help extinguish extremist movements from a certain country. Rather, it was more of the need in "finding alternative ways to bypass the conventional arms trade." Russian President Vladimir Putin, often described as this generation's global bad boy, could benefit from the arms sale as this will somehow counter that image.

Russia's economic prowess is currently on a downhill because of the sanctions it received, triggered by the Ukraine crisis. Wagner said it is without doubt that Mr Putin believes the arms exports will translate to much needed incomes for his country. The agreement with Nigeria calls for the sale of helicopter gunships and other significant equipment. Russia had even suggested extending a loan to Nigeria just so the weapons deal will start rolling. Mr Putin believed Russia will greatly benefit from the sales not just from Nigeria but from surrounding countries as well.

Based on data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, in 2013, Russia was the world's number three arms exporter, next to the United States and China. The U.S. accounted for over 36 percent of global arms exports, China with 11 percent, and Russia, at 5 percent.

Apart from a change of suppliers, Nigeria has also closed a training programme provided by the US government's military for the Nigerian Army. It came a month after its request for Cobra attack helicopters got rejected by Washington.

"Like it or not, the Kremlin is having success in expanding its military and commercial footprint in areas where the U.S. and the West appear to be having declining influence." Wagner wrote in HuffPost. He added the Nigeria arms sale won't be the first. "On the grand chess board of global geopolitics, Russia is scoring some real points."

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