Adrian N Ionescu
Read more »
de Adrian N Ionescu | 17.9.2017 .
Producers of bullets, assault weapons, and rockets from former communist countries in Eastern Europe saw a significant increase in orders following the conflicts in the Middle East. They sold weapons either directly to states in the region or they also signed agreements with the US and other third parties, according to Bloomberg.
The largest exporter among the countries under review is Bulgaria, which has also recorded the highest growth in the last two years to more than one billion euros. Romania has the lowest exports of weapons, below EUR 200 million in the region. Hungary and Poland are not included in the analysis.
“The increase in sales of weapons in the Middle East seems to coincide with the expansion of the armed conflict in the region. Even though the worst has passed, a level of conflict, even a low one, will persist for a while. Therefore, the demand for weapons will remain sustained,” said Lucas Dos Santos, Head of the BMI Research Country Risk Department.
Eastern European countries have outpaced the global growth rate of military equipment sales (+ 8.4% between 2012 and 2016), according to the estimates of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
Despite the increase in recent years, exports of weapons from former Moscow satellite countries are far behind the exports from Russia, the world second largest exporter after the US.
Last year, Russia exported weapons worth USD 15 billion and recently signed an agreement to provide Turkey with air defence systems, a contract worth USD 2.5 billion
Former communist states in Eastern Europe are still part of the weapons supply chains dating from the times of the former USSR, whose clients also include the governments of the Middle East.