Defense: Europe’s arms imports almost doubled due to the Ukraine war

Defense: Europe’s arms imports almost doubled due to the Ukraine war

The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine is changing the global arms market. This also has noticeable consequences for Russia.

In view of the war in Ukraine, Europe’s arms imports have almost doubled in the past five years. This emerges from a report published by the Stockholm peace research institute Sipri on Monday. Accordingly, the import of weapons in Europe increased by 94 percent between 2019 and 2023 compared to the period 2014 to 2018.

The Sipri data refers to the volume of arms shipments, not their financial value. Since the volume can fluctuate greatly from year to year depending on the order situation, the independent institute focuses on five-year periods instead of individual years.

The largest importer in Europe was Ukraine – with 23 percent of the region’s total arms imports. The country has been fending off a war of aggression by Russia for two years. In 2023 alone, Ukraine was by far the largest arms importer in the world. Over the five-year period, the country ranked fourth globally behind India, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The two most important export countries for Ukraine were the USA with 69 percent of imported goods and Germany with 30 percent. The Federal Republic’s overall arms exports have fallen by 14 percent in the past five years.

For the first time in decades, Russia is no longer one of the world’s two largest arms suppliers. While the USA at the top increased its arms exports by a further 17 percent, covering 42 percent of the world market, deliveries from Russia fell by more than half (53 percent). Russia was overtaken by France, which increased its exports by 47 percent. Germany was still one of the top five export countries worldwide. Overall, the global arms transfer of all countries fell slightly by 3.3 percent.

Source: Stern

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