Russian Arms Exports Fall as Ukraine War Limits Supplies – Think Tank – The Moscow Times

Russia has lost its share of global arms exports over the past five years as the invasion of Ukraine limited supplies and demand from most traditional partners declined in 2022, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) think tank said in a new report Monday.

While Russia accounted for 22% of global arms sales in 2013-17, that figure dropped to 16% in 2018-22.

The country’s arms exports fell by 31% over the same period, according to SIPRI.

India, the largest buyer of Russian weapons, imported 37% fewer arms from Russia between 2013-17 and 2018-22. Seven of Russia’s other top arms recipients averaged 59% fewer imports.

China and Egypt were the only two top buyers to increase purchases, at 39% and 44% respectively, and become Russia’s second and third largest arms importers.

SIPRI said five-year periods give a more stable measure of arms transfer trends because deliveries can fluctuate on a yearly basis.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will likely further limit its arms exports because the Kremlin “will prioritize supplying its armed forces and demand from other states will remain low due to trade sanctions” as well as pressure by the United States and its allies to avoid buying Russian arms, said SIPRI’s senior researcher Siemon Wezeman.

The decline has widened Russia’s gap with the U.S. — which dominates global arms exports at 40% — and narrowed Moscow’s gap with the third-biggest arms exporter France, whose share increased from 7.1% to 11%.

Ukraine became the world’s third-largest arms importer, accounting for 2% of the global share in 2022, as a result of U.S. and EU military aid.

European countries have increased major arms imports by 47% as tensions with Russia rose over its invasion of pro-Western Ukraine.

Global international arms transfers grew 5.1%, SIPRI said.

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