Ukraine becomes world’s third largest importer of weapons — SIPRI

13 March, 03:05 PM
American howitzers M777 (Photo:US Marine Corps/Cpl. Austin Fraley / Handout via REUTERS)

American howitzers M777 (Photo:US Marine Corps/Cpl. Austin Fraley / Handout via REUTERS)

Ukraine ranked third in terms of global arms imports in 2022, after Qatar and India, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) published on March 13.

The analysts attribute this to military assistance from the United States and many European countries after Russia's full-scale invasion. Ukraine was the 14th largest importer of arms in 2018-2022. Over the five-year period, the country accounted for 2% of global arms imports.

"The war (between Russia and Ukraine) will have significant ramifications for future supplier — recipient arms trade relations globally," SIPRI predicts.

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Of the 29 countries that supplied weapons to Ukraine last year, the United States was the key actor, accounting for 35% of total imports. Poland came in second with 17%, followed by Germany with 11%, the United Kingdom with 10%, and the Czech Republic with 4.4%.

Although the volume of U.S. weapons for Kyiv increased dramatically, it was still lower than the level of U.S. exports to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Japan, the report says. The countries received new and modern weapons from the United States, such as combat aircraft and air defense systems.

"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," said Pieter Wezeman, Senior Researcher at SIPRI.

“At the same time, they supplied such arms to other states involved in conflict, particularly in the Middle East and South Asia.”

In many cases, the supply of weapons by one state has been financed by other states or the European Union through the European Peace Facility. In particular, by the end of 2022, the EU had allocated EUR 3.1 billion ($3.3 billion) for military equipment for Ukraine.

According to experts, the U.S. share in global arms exports increased from 33% to 40%, France's share from 7.1% to 11%, while Russia's share decreased from 22% to 16%.

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