The increase in military spending in other European countries such as Poland and Norway also contributed to the increase in arms imports. According to Sipri, expenditure is likely to increase further.
Only Qatar and India imported more arms than Ukraine in 2022. For example, 31 percent of all European arms imports last year and eight percent of the arms trade worldwide went to Ukraine. According to the Sipri report, imports, including donations from the West, were more than 60 times higher than in the previous year.
The deliveries of mostly used weapons to Ukraine included 230 pieces of US artillery, 280 armored vehicles from Poland, 7,000 anti-tank missiles from Great Britain and newly produced goods such as nine air defense systems.
Even if it is difficult to calculate the total value of traded weapons due to the often non-transparent arms contracts, experts estimate the annual global arms trade to be around 100 billion dollars (93.8 billion euros). Total military spending will surpass $2 trillion in 2021, according to Sipri.
The high European military spending of the past year is part of a trend that has been going on for years. European countries began rearmament after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.
According to Sipri, European arms imports have increased by 47 percent over the past five years compared to the previous five years, while global sales have fallen by five percent.
Most of the arms went to the Middle East, accounting for 32 percent of world imports last year. Asia/Oceania came second with 30 percent, ahead of Europe with 27 percent. According to the Sipri report, China continues to spend heavily on its military, but is now increasingly producing its own weapons.
The largest arms exporters in 2022 were the USA with 40 percent of all arms exports, ahead of Russia with 16 percent, France with eleven percent, China with five percent and Germany with four percent. These five countries are responsible for three quarters of all global arms exports.