Flows of major weapons 'highest since Cold War'

Global arms trade spikes to highest since the end of the Cold War

Large arms supply and demand rose to a new post-Cold War height past year, with the US and Russian Federation topping the chart as the biggest suppliers, according to research by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

"While China is increasingly able to substitute arms imports with indigenous products, India remains dependent on weapons technology from many willing suppliers, including Russian Federation, the United States, European states, Israel and South Korea". In terms of buying weapons, India is now the largest importer.

Russian Federation accounted for a 23 per cent share of global exports in the period between 2012 and 2016.

"Both advanced strike aircraft with cruise missiles and other precision-guided munitions and the latest generation air and missile defence systems account for a significant share of U.S. arms exports", Dr. Fleuant said in a statement accompanying the report.

"India was the world's largest importer of major arms in 2012-16, accounting for 13 per cent of the global total", the leading think-tank said. It was responsible for 33% of all weapons exports in the five year period that ended in 2016.

Arms imports by countries in the Middle East increased by 86% in the past five years, compared to the five years prior to 2011.

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The report said arms imports by states in Asia and Oceania accounted for 43 per cent of global imports between 2012 and 2016 which was an increase of 7.7 per cent compared to 2007-11 period.

The study found that global transfers increased over the last five years to the highest volume out of any five-year period since before the collapse of the Soviet Union.

SIPRI data reflects the volume of deliveries of arms, not the financial value of the deals.

He said the USA has delivered major weapons to at least 100 countries in the five year period, significantly higher number than any other supplier. In general, over the past five years, the United States have supplied their weapons to at least 100 countries. China, France and Germany were also among the top five exporters. In general, in the period from 2012 to 2016, Russian Federation has supplied its weapons to 50 countries.

He added: "Despite low oil prices, countries in the region continued to order more weapons in 2016, perceiving them as crucial tools for dealing with conflicts and regional tensions". Of the top five, Saudi Arabia and the UAE got most of their weapons from Russia; China, Algeria and India got most of their weapons systems from Russia.

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