Illustrative photo – Ukrainian artillerymen with an M777 howitzer in the Kherson region, January 9, 2022.
Stockholm – Between 2018 and 2022, European countries increased their arms imports by 47 percent over the previous five-year period. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) stated this on its website, according to which the main reason is the war in Ukraine. In contrast, the global arms trade has fallen by around five percent in the past five years.
“After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, European states want to import more weapons and faster,” SIPRI chief analyst Pieter Wezeman summarized the development. European states that are members of the North Atlantic Alliance have even increased their arms imports by 65 percent.
Last year, thanks to supplies from the United States and Europe, the invaded Ukraine became the third largest importer of weapons in the world. For the entire period of 2018 to 2022, it is in 14th place.
The largest exporters are, as in the previous three decades, the United States and Russia. The US managed to increase its share of global arms exports between 2018 and 2022 from 33 to 40 percent compared to the previous five-year period, while Russia's share fell from 22 to 16 percent.
In its analysis, SIPRI assesses the trade in heavy weapons , such as warships, tanks, aircraft, artillery, missiles and large defense systems.