Rostec looks to Africa for new arms export markets

Platinum mining in Zimbabwe

Platinum mining in Zimbabwe

Russia state-run industrial conglomerate Rostec has been using its involvement in low-margin African oil and platinum projects to increase the possibility of securing arms contracts for its defence and aerospace subsidiaries. While most of Russia’s private-sector investors have now pulled out from the African continent, Rostec remains on track to build a $4-billion oil refinery in Uganda and a $3-billion platinum project in Zimbabwe.
“Apart from proceeds from the project itself, building the crude oil refinery [in Uganda] opens markets for products of all Rostec’s companies and Russian companies as a whole,” the company explained in a statement issued to Reuters.
Rostec controls hundreds of firms ranging from arms exporter Rosoboronexport to the world’s top titanium producer VSMPO-Avisma, and neither Uganda nor Zimbabwe are constrained by the current sanction regime – and already have strained relations with many Western countries.