Kalashnikov Concern, makers of Tigr SVD, Vepr and Saiga rifles and shotguns, and KBP Instrument Design Bureau, the less well known manufacturer or the GSh-18 pistol and VSK-94 rifle, have been added to the Government of Canada’s list of sanctioned Russian companies. The Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the following statement …
In addition to instituting prohibitions on dealings with respect to entities related to Russia’s arms industry, these substantively new measures impose restrictions on the issuance of new financing for the designated energy and financial entities.
“Today, we are also imposing sanctions on the armed separatist groups known as ‘The Donetsk People’s Republic’ and ‘The Luhansk People’s Republic.’ These groups, with direct support from Russia, have engaged in egregious acts against the armed forces of Ukraine, international monitors deployed to the area, and the civilian population.
Both companies have exported civilian firearms to Canada in the past. KBP is not likely to be seriously affected by these sanctions because they are first and foremost a military weapons, including surface-to-air missile, manufacturer. The loss of yet another market for Kalashnikov can only make worse the dire predicament it is in now.
I discussed Kalashnikov’s US sanctions with Russian firearms author/expert Max Popenker. Max told me that Russian gun enthusiasts are understandably upset by the sanctions and the affect it will have on the local gun industry. They are hoping that this will be a wake up call for Kalashnikov who has been chasing export dollars in recent years and paid little attention to the needs of Russian shooters.
I predict the Russian government will bail Kalashnikov out. A bailout could come in the form of weapons contracts for the adoption of the AK-12. Russian generals have been against the adoption of a new service rifle, but faced with the prospects of major job losses at the Kalashnikov factories, I think the Russian politicians will force a new rifle on them. It is what any Western government would do, I think, if faced with the same situation.
The latest round of EU sanctions, announced over the weekend, place sanctions of military arms contracts, but as far as I understand them, do not ban civilian gun imports from Russia. If I am wrong, please let me know by email: email@example.com.