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PUBLIC LECTURE: “The Russian Military Industrial Complex Today and Prospects For Future Development”

Abstract: Over the past decade, the Russian military industrial complex has begun a new chapter of development. Historically, the Russian defense industry has been a forerunner of the country’s innovation activity and even today the Russian political elite sees it as a locomotive for economics, politics and society.

With the State Armament Programme GPV 2020 bringing about much needed modernization of military equipment the rearmament of Russian troops has proceeded at a high pace. By 2020 Russia is determined to either replace or modernize 70 percent of its Soviet era military hardware. After that further modernization will continue in the framework of the GPV 2027.

Nevertheless, many of the successes that have been met over recent years have not come without delay. Today the Russian defence industry remains troubled by a wide array of long lasting issues, ranging from corruption to intellectual property rights problems. Moreover, challenges have recently multiplied as a result of rising political tensions.

This presentation aims to provide an overview of the current state of the Russian military industrial complex by examining some of its recent successes as well as prevailing key issues. In addition, prospects for future development will be pondered on by taking special focus on the industry’s potential for innovation activity.

Bio: Karoliina Rajala is an Associate Research Fellow at the OSCE Academy and an independent researcher. She also works as a freelance journalist, writing primarily on the EU, Russia and Central Asia, and heads the webzine of JEF-Finland. Karoliina has obtained a BSc degree in Economics and Business Administration from the Turku School of Economics where she is currently enrolled in a MSc program in the same subject area. As a part of her degree, she is completing specialization studies at the Master’s School in Russian and Eastern European Studies at the Aleksanteri Institute. Previously Karoliina has worked as a research assistant at the Ministry of Defence of Finland and accumulated experience from the European External Action Service, two missions of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland as well as Carnegie Europe. Karoliina’s research interests focus primarily on the Russian military industry as well as environmental cooperation in Russia.