Russia to buy back T-80 tanks and BMP-3 IFVs from South Korea

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According to Russian Izvestiya newspaper, the country is set to buy back T-80 tanks and BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) from South Korea. The equipment was initially sold back in the 1990s as a repayment for debt that Russia inherited from the dissolved Soviet Union. Although a decision about its fate has not been made, the equipment is either going to be used as spare parts in Russia, or going to be sold to potential buyers like Cyprus, or Yemen.

The decision to buy back the equipment was taken in 2015 after working groups assessed them. The latest meeting of the groups was held on September 3 in Russia, during which the latter expressed desire to barter the equipment at stake in return for other equipment.

The IFVs are reported to be in good condition and ready to be introduced into service, although it is not ruled out that some may be dismantled to be used as parts.

A total of 70 BMP-3s, 80 T-80Us, and 33 BTR-80A have been transferred to South Korea in the 1990s.