Ukraine Sold $1 Billion Worth Of Weaponry In 2010 - Media

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's arms exports in 2010 reached almost a billion dollars with the bulk of weaponry sold to African countries, the Kommersant-Ukraine newspaper said on Monday.

Ukrainian T-72 tanks.

"The portfolio of contracts signed by state-run arms exporter Ukrspetsexport increased in value from $799.5 in 2009 to $956.7 billion [in 2010]," the paper cited data released by the State Service for Export Control.

The leading buyers of Ukrainian weaponry are Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ukraine sold a total of 250 T-55 and T-72 tanks to both countries.

Sudan also bought Grad multiple rocket launchers, 122-mm 2S1 Gvozdika self-propelled howitzers, 152-mm 1S3 Akatsia self-propelled howitzers, D-30 howitzers, 82-mm mortars and a variety of small arms, including 10,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles.

Ukraine sold a T-80BV main battle tank, built in 1985, to the United States and 14 air-to-air missiles commonly used by Libyan MiG fighter jets to Italy.

Experts believe that Western countries buy small batches of Soviet-era weaponry for study purposes.

Former Ukrspetsexport director Sergei Bondarchuk dismissed the figures revealed by government authorities as unrealistic.

"I don't trust these figures. As far as I know, we only signed an option for a previous contract with Sudan last year and the rest are ongoing deliveries under contracts signed by the previous team," Bondarchuk told the paper.

There has been no comment from Ukrspetsexport so far.

Source: RIA Novosti