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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Forte hausse des ventes d’armes

by Damien Roustel

Arms Sales Skyrocketing

Translated Saturday 22 March 2014, by Gene Zbikowski

14% jump in arms imports over the past five years.

France was carrying out initial sea trials of the Vladivostok, one of two Mistral-class warships sold to Russia in 2011 (the Sebastopol was to be delivered in 2016, but that was before Russia annexed Crimea) when, in Paris on March 17, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) published a report showing that France is the world’s fifth-largest arms merchant. France, with 5% of world arms exports in the 2009-2013 period, ranks behind China (6%), Germany (7%), Russia (27%) and the United States (29%). These five countries combined account for three-quarters of sales.

“Russia has maintained high levels of arms exports despite the crisis in its arms industry in the post-cold war period,” said Siemon Wezeman, a senior fellow with the SIPRI arms transfers program. “In 2009–13, Russia delivered major arms to 52 states. Russia’s most significant export in 2013 was an aircraft carrier to India,” he added.

Compared with the 2004-2008 period, the volume of international transfers of conventional arms systems rose by 14% in the 2009-2013 period. The arms race between India and Pakistan is the cause of this increase.

“India’s imports of major arms increased by 111%. Over the same period, Pakistan’s imports of arms increased by 119%,” the report says. The background to all of this is great-power rivalry. “China and the USA appear to be using arms deliveries to Asia to strengthen their influence in the region,” Siemon Wezeman said. The report shows that arms imports are on the rise in the countries of the Persian Gulf, the Sudan, and Uganda.

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