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Many people collect vintage arms in Western Europe
Weapons of the Russian and Soviet armies, following two world wars and the early post-war years, are in such a poor condition that they need to be scrapped, but this requires hefty sums. So in every respect the state only stands to gain if it sells them. Russia's main arms dealer - Rosoboronexport - is going to start a "conveyor-belt" system to sell these items, but the promotion of weapons of this class on the world market calls for export order documents, says the newspaper Vremya Novostei. Under international law, such products are not classified as military hardware, but Russian legislation still classes the above-listed categories of arms as military-purpose products, despite their age. So, in order to do business in this new sphere, it is necessary to bring Russian laws into line with norms of international law as soon as possible. The optimum solution, believe military-technical cooperation experts, would be for the Russian president to issue a special edict or to have a federal law adopted. Now Rosoboronexport specialists, with their opposite numbers from the Defense Ministry, are making an inventory of the arsenals and getting the armaments and military hardware ready for export. Since Soviet times, Russian military stores have kept legendary T-34 tanks - the best tanks of the Second World War - ZiS-3 76-mm guns, the famed Maxim machine guns of the 1910, 1932 and 1942 models, and PPSh (Shpagin) machine pistols. Unique pieces of armory date from two periods: 1891-1910 and 1930-1944. The deliveries and expected earnings are so far a commercial secret. However, it is known that the famous Mosin rifle, better known as the .375 rifle, can go for as much as any modern small arm on the world market.
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