MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The United States remained the largest global arms exporter between 2013 and 2017, and nearly half of all US arms exports went to the Middle East during this time, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in its study on Monday.
“In 2013-17 the USA accounted for 34 per cent of total arms exports. Its arms exports increased by 25 per cent between 2008-12 and 2013-17. US arms exports in 2013–17 were 58 per cent higher than those of Russia — the second largest arms exporter in that period. The USA supplied major arms to 98 states in 2013–17. Exports to states in the Middle East accounted for 49 per cent of total US arms exports in that period,” the study said.
According to Aude Fleurant, the director of the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Program, arms deals signed during the administration of then US President Barack Obama and “further major contracts signed in 2017 will ensure that the USA remains the largest arms exporter in the coming years.”
SIPRI noted that Russia, the second largest arms exporter, saw a decrease of 7.1 percent in its overall volume of arms exports between 2008-2012 and 2013-2017.
France, Germany and China have also been among the top five arms exporters over the past five years.
“Most states in the Middle East were directly involved in violent conflict in 2013-17. Arms imports by states in the region increased by 103 per cent between 2008-12 and 2013-17, and accounted for 32 percent of global arms imports in 2013-17,” the report said.
India was the world’s largest importer of major arms in 2013-2017, accounting for 12 percent of the global arms imports. Saudi Arabia was the world’s second largest arms importer.