European arms imports have doubled in the last five years

Europe's arms imports have almost doubled in the past five years, largely due to the war in Ukraine, according to a report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on Monday.

The SIPRI report shows that arms imports by European countries increased by 94 per cent between 2019 and 2023 compared to 2014 to 2018.

The data concerns the volume of arms deliveries, not the financial value. The independent institute looks at five-year periods instead of individual years because the volume can fluctuate significantly from year to year.

Ukraine was the largest arms importer in Europe, with 23 per cent of the region's total arms imports. In 2023, Ukraine was by far the largest arms importer in the world. However, in the five-year period, the country ranked fourth globally behind India, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The two most substantial export countries to Ukraine were the US, at 69 per cent of goods, and Germany, with 30 per cent. However, Germany's total arms exports have fallen by 14 per cent over 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 US increased its exports by 17 per cent, covering 42 per cent of the global market, deliveries from Russia fell by 53 per cent. Russia was overtaken by France, which increased its exports by 47 per cent. The global arms trade between all countries fell slightly by 3.3 per cent.


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