6,633 percent increase: Ukraine is the fourth largest arms importer in the world due to the war - the rest of Europe is also arming

According to a study, Europe's arms imports have almost doubled in the past five years, which is also due to the war in Ukraine.

6,633 percent increase: Ukraine is the fourth largest arms importer in the world due to the war - the rest of Europe is also arming

According to a study, Europe's arms imports have almost doubled in the past five years, which is also due to the war in Ukraine. At the same time, arms exports from Russia, once the world's second largest arms exporter after the USA, halved during this period, according to a report published on Monday by the International Peace Research Institute in Stockholm (Sipri).

Arms deliveries to Europe increased by 94 percent between 2019 and 2023 compared to the previous five years, while global arms trade fell slightly overall. Sipri always analyzes trends over a five-year period, as large orders can have a significant impact on the figures for a single year and distort the trend.

The increase in imports by European countries can be "partly explained by the war in Ukraine," Sipri researcher Katarina Djokic told the AFP news agency. Over the past five years, Ukraine has become the fourth largest arms importer in the world. According to the institute, at least 30 countries have delivered major weapons to Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February 2022.

But other European countries have also increased their imports, according to Sipri, with the share of deliveries from the world's largest arms exporter, the USA, increasing. In the period 2019-2023, 55 percent of imports in Europe come from the USA; between 2014 and 2018 it was 35 percent. This is also because most European countries are NATO members and partners of the USA in the development of weapons systems such as the F-35 fighter jet, explained Djokic.

The USA increased global arms exports by 17 percent between 2019 and 2023, increasing its share of global arms exports to 42 percent.

At the same time, arms exports from Russia have fallen by 53 percent over the past ten years, or around half. Russia not only exported fewer weapons, but also had fewer buyers than before. In 2019, 31 countries bought weapons from the Federation - in 2023 there were only twelve states. France, on the other hand, increased its arms exports by 47 percent, replacing Russia as the second largest exporter. Germany is in fifth place.

China, once one of the largest buyers of Russian weapons, is currently trying to increase its own production. According to the report, China still accounts for 21 percent of Russian exports, but Moscow's largest arms buyer is India with a share of 34 percent.

In the gallery: On February 24, 2022, Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Today both sides face each other in a bitter war of position and attrition in the east and south.

NEXT NEWS