Vladimir Putin is expected to cancel the lavish Moscow Airshow (MAKS) this year, as sanctions on Russia continue to bite.
MAKS has become a jewell within Russia’s calendar; a chance for the Kremlin to show the world its newest warplanes, and negotiate its aerospace contracts.
But a senior official has now said the show would “in all probability” not talk place this year, with the scheduled show at the end of July set to be shelved.
That’s according to Viktor Kladov, director for international cooperation at the state-owned defence conglomerate Rostec, who did not give a reason behind the cancellation.
Tass noted that previous suggestions as to why it has been postponed included the impact Western sanctions were now having on Russia.
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The report also claimed there were security threats to the events, unnamed sources said, after drone attacks struck the Kremlin and Moscow last month.
It comes just a week after many in the West opted to snub the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, with attendances at the event much lower than previous incarnations.
During the event last week, Putin trumpeted Russia’s prospects despite the shadow of its ongoing war with Ukraine looming heavy over proceedings.
The event has for decades been a major part of Russia’s ploys to attract foreign business and capital and has often been likened to the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.
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Officials ensured journalists from “unfriendly” countries were unable to attend, with Russia deciding on who could attend depending on the sanctions given to Moscow.
This meant the likes of Britain, the US, Canada and the European Union not having any journalists present for the event.
Speaking to attendees, Putin said: “We haven’t turned onto the self-isolation path. Quite the opposite.
“We have widened contacts with reliable and responsible partners in the countries and regions that serve as the engine, the drivers of the world’s economy today. I’d like to reiterate: These are the markets of the future; everyone clearly understands it.”
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At the event, Putin also turned his attention to the war with Ukraine, telling attendees Moscow had deployed its first tranche of nuclear weapons in Belarus
He added: “Nuclear weapons are created to ensure our security in the broadest sense of the word and the existence of the Russian state. But we, firstly, do not have such a need.
“Extreme means may be used if there is a threat to Russia’s statehood.
“In this case, we will certainly use all the forces and means that the Russian state has at its disposal.”
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