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Ukraine becomes world’s third largest arms importer in 2022 – SIPRI

West arms
M777 155-mm howitzers for Ukraine. April 2022. Photo: US Department of Defense

Ukraine turned into one of the largest arms importers in the world in 2022, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

The Russian all-out war increased Ukraine’s arms imports dramatically and limited Russia’s arms exports at the same time, SIPRI reported.

From 1991 until the end of 2021, Ukraine imported a few major arms. As a result of military aid from the USA and many European states following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Ukraine became the third largest importer of major arms during 2022 (after Qatar and India) and the 14th biggest importer for 2018–2022. Ukraine accounted for two percent of global arms imports in the five-year period, according to the data provided by SIPRI.

“Due to concerns about how the supply of combat aircraft and long-range missiles could further escalate the war in Ukraine, NATO states declined Ukraine’s requests for them in 2022. At the same time, they supplied such arms to other states involved in the conflict, particularly in the Middle East and South Asia,” Pieter D. Wezeman, Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme said.

On the other hand, it is likely that the invasion of Ukraine will further limit Russia’s arms exports, according to SIPRI.

“Russia will prioritize supplying its armed forces and demand from other states will remain low due to trade sanctions on Russia and increasing pressure from the USA and its allies not to buy Russian arms,” Pieter D. Wezeman said.


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