Europe rearms. The region has recorded greatest growth in arms imports in the last five yearsbuying 19% more between 2017 and 2021 than in the previous five years mainly due to tensions with Russiawhich has just invaded Ukraine unleashing the first war on European soil in three decades, according to data published this Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on the world arms trade, which as a whole has fallen by 4.6%.
“The serious deterioration of relations between most European states and Russia was a major driver of growth in European arms importsespecially for states that cannot meet all of their requirements through their domestic arms industries,” said Pieter D. Wezeman, senior researcher with SIPRI’s Arms Transfer Program.
Europe, however, only accounts for 13% of global arms transfers The countries that buy the most weapons in Europe are UK, Norway and the Netherlands, although it is expected -according to the Institute’s press release- that in the next decade other countries will increase their purchases with the acquisition “particularly of combat aircraft from the United States.” In the case of Ukraine, imports of large arms were “very limited” in the last five years.
The The region that imports the most weapons continues to be the one made up of Asia and Oceania -which for the purposes of the arms market is considered only one-. Although transfers to the region as a whole fell by 4.7%, the purchase of arms by the countries that comprise it still accounts for 43% of the entire market. However, imports rose by East Asia (20%) and Oceania (59%) due, in this case, to “tensions” with China.
The United States monopolizes 39% of arms exports
The United States remains the world’s largest arms exporter. with a volume of 52,502 million dollars during 2017-2021, 14% more than in the previous five years. The US thus monopolizes 39% of all world exports, seven points more than in the previous five years. The 43% of everything he sold went to the Middle Eastespecially Saudi Arabia, which doubled its purchases of US weapons in the period analyzed.
Russia is the second largest exporter in the world although with half the volume of the United States (25,293 million), according to the SIPRI database. Exports of large arms from Moscow fell by 26% in the last five years, especially due to the drop in deliveries to India and Vietnam, and currently their sales account for 19% of world trade.
France, with exports worth 14,490 million, along with China and Germany (which each exceed 6,000 million) top the top 5 largest arms exporters. Spain occupies the ninth position with sales of nearly 3,400 million euros.
India and Saudi Arabia lead imports
The countries that import the most weapons, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, are India with an expenditure of more than 15,000 million dollars and Saudi Arabia with a similar amount. Below are Egypt, Australia and China.
(Will continue to expand)
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.