Arms for sale. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute published its latest report on major arms purchases and transfers over the past five years. The top global arms exporters in 2014-18 were the United States, Russia, France, Germany and China. Notably, the U.S. share of global exports increased from 30 percent to 36 percent, giving the U.S. a substantial lead over second-ranked Russia, whose arms exports decreased by 17 percent between 2009-13 and 2014-18. SIPRI attributes this decline to reduced arms imports by India and Venezuela, while Russia’s state-owned defense conglomerate Rostec said the data used questionable methodology and does not reflect reality. Whatever the case, this points to two important issues for Moscow. First, defense exports were seen as Russia’s preferred value-added export, and the decline in sales is a bad sign for Russia’s economy. Second, Russia is still the main arms supplier to India, but it appears the U.S. is gaining ground there.
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