India is world's largest arms importer

India is world's largest arms importer

India is world's largest arms importer

The five biggest exporters, the U.S., Russia, France, Germany and China, together accounted for 74 per cent of all arms exports in 2013-17.

But with New Delhi showing increasingly more affinity to the US, the import from America rose by a whopping 557% between 2008-12 and 2013-17, said the latest report from Stockholm International Peace Research Institute that keeps an eye on the global arms trade. "As relations between the two countries deteriorated in 2013-17 (due to USA perceptions that Pakistan was not fully committed to combating the Taliban), the United States reduced its military aid, and U.S. arms exports to Pakistan fell by 76 per cent compared with 2008-12", the report says. The US is now India's second largest arms supplier.

Russia, France, Germany and China joined the USA as the five biggest exporters. "Its arms imports from the U.S. dropped by 76 per cent in 2013-17 compared with 2008-12".

The five largest exporters in 2013-17 were the United States, Russia, France, Germany and China (see table 1).

And the Middle East accounted for 32 percent of all arms imports worldwide.

Arms exports to the Middle East, Asia and Oceania increased, while there was a decrease in the flow of arms to Africa, the Americas and Europe. Still, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies have pressed on with a controversial campaign of airstrikes routinely criticized by the United Nations, which accuses Riyadh of exacerbating what U.N. agencies have called the "world's worst humanitarian disaster".

India, which receives most of its arms from Russian Federation, heads the list of top importers.

India, which accounted for 12 percent of global arms purchases, held onto its position as the world's largest importer.

"China, by contrast, is becoming increasingly capable of producing its own weapons and continues to strengthen its relations with Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar through arms supplies", he said.

The sale from U.S. arms majors, too, reduced by 76% between 2013 and 2017 compared to the previous five-year period. The Saudis, now the world's second-largest weapons importers, have led a military coalition against the Houthi rebels in Yemen since 2015 using weapons and intelligence from the Pentagon-giving way to a humanitarian crisis in the impoverished country and killing hundreds of civilians.

"Widespread violent conflict in the Middle East and concerns about human rights have led to political debate in Western Europe and North America about restricting arms sales", Pieter Wezeman, senior researcher for the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme, said in a statement. Despite this, it was the world's fifth largest arms importer in 2013-17.

Algeria accounted for 52 per cent of all African imports in 2013-17.

Weapons imports to the Middle East and Asia have boomed over the past five years, fueled by war and tensions in those regions, a new study showed on Monday.

During the same period, China's weapons exports to Pakistan augmented by healthy 35pc and the latter remained biggest buyer of Chinese-made weapons.

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