Procurement: Why Venezuela Is Buying So Many Russian Weapons

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August 6, 2006: Venezuela cancelled its purchase of ten C-295 and CN-235 transports from Spain, after the United States refused to allow American made parts to used in those aircraft, if they were sold to Venezuela. The Spanish manufacturer was able to find substitute parts, but they were more expensive and the Venezuelans refused to pay the higher price. Many technologies can only be exported from the U.S. if the foreign buyers promise not to let those items reach countries considered hostile to the United States. Nations that violate these agreements can have their access to American technology blocked. This is a powerful incentive to go along with the U.S. restrictions, because all the American tech is necessary to remain competitive in world markets.
Russia, however, still produces many major items, like aircraft, that do not use American technology. Actually, the Russians frequently offer two versions of aircraft, one with American and European technology (and enhanced performance), or cheaper versions with only Russian tech inside. Russia sees this approach as a vital sales edge when pitching products to nations that are hostile to the United States.

 


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