U.S. remains world’s top arms exporter
The United States remained far and above the rest of the world as the globe’s leading arms exporter, with Russia a distant second, according to a report of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
SIPRI said Russia’s arms exports fell 17% in the 2014-18 period, with a reduction in arms imports by India and Venezuela the major factors in the decline.
The report said France (6.8% of the world total) was the third-highest arms exporter, followed by Germany (6.4%), and China (5.2%).
In total, Russia delivered major arms to 48 countries in 2014–18 with 55% of deliverers made to India, China and Algeria.
The combined arms exports of European Union member states accounted for 27% of global arms exports in 2014–18.
The gap between the U.S. and the rest of the world widened further in the most recent five-year period of 2014-18, with American exports rising to 36% of the global total from 30% in the previous period.
"U.S. exports of major arms were 75% higher than Russia’s in the 2014–18 period, while they were only 12% higher in 2009-13," SIPRI said in its report.
"More than half (52%) of U.S. arms exports went to the Middle East in 2014-18," it added.
According to the report, the top five countries accounted for 75% of the world total.
First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs Vladimir Dzhabarov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that statistics show the U.S. strategy for squeezing Russia out of world markets. "The U.S. is trying to force us out wherever they can. They intimidate their allies and other countries, which want to acquire Russian weapons, with all sorts of sanctions," he said.
"It is enough to remember how they are threatening Turkey, so that Ankara refused to supply Russia's S-400 systems. At the same time, the U.S. considers itself to be the most peaceful country, although it is world’s top arms exporter and seizes an increasing market share. We do not oppose his business, because Russia also exports arms, but the struggle for markets must be competitive," Vladimir Dzhabarov pointed out.
"Everything that the U.S. does is done to meet the demands of American business. They squeeze out any other countries in order to occupy a market share as large as possible," the First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs added.
A military observer of the TASS news agency, retired Colonel Viktor Litovkin, linked the increased gap between the Russian and American shares in the arms market with the introduction of anti-Russian sanctions. "Over these years, 2014-2018, the United States imposed sanctions on both Russia and those countries that import our arms. Not all states can withstand pressure from the US. Turkey can do it, India can do it, but Indonesia, for example, is not able to withstand this pressure," he said.
"Because of the destructive position of the United States, we are competing not in the quality or effectiveness of our weapons, but, unfortunately, in who will put more pressure on competitors. So the growing gap in arms exports is not connected with economic, but with political reasons. The United States exerts pressure not only on the allies, but also on weak countries that are not able to resist them," Viktor Litovkin concluded.