Arms sale in the world has reached the maximum since the end of the cold war. The total market supply in the period 2012-2016 increased by 8.4%, in comparison with the last 5 years, reports SIPRI. Russia is the second largest exporter of weapons in the world, after the United States.
The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is an international treaty that regulates the international trade in conventional arms and seeks to prevent and eradicate illicit trade and diversion of conventional arms by establishing international standards governing arms transfers.
In an ideal world, the arms market would be adjustable. But in an ideal world, weapons would not be necessary
The ATT contributes to international and regional peace, security and stability, reducing human suffering, and promoting cooperation, transparency and responsible action among the international community.
The Treaty came into force on 24 December 2014. At this stage, the Treaty has a total of 92 States Parties and 130 Signatory States. Despite the fact that there is a law regulating the trade in arms, the producers do not stop mass production of various types of weapons.
For producer countries, this is not only justified by the principles of self-defense, but it is also an excellent source of profit. According to the researchers, the five largest arms exporters in the world are the USA, Russia, China, France and Germany.
Together, these five states are responsible for 74 % of international arms transfers, which are mainly acquired by buyers in countries of Asia and Oceania, as well as in the countries of the Near and Middle East. The largest arms importers in the world are India and Saudi Arabia.
The world leader in the arms trade is still the US—its market share is 33 percent. In 2012-2016, the volume of US-sold weapons increased by 21 percent. "The US exports arms to at least 100 countries, which is much more than any other supplier countries", the SIPRI noted.
According to researchers, almost half of American weapons are sold to buyers in the Middle East. Russia is in second place, with a market share of 23%. Having increased arms sales by 74%, China brought its share in the global arms market to 6.2% and is the third largest exporter. France shares 6% of the market, and Germany, 5.6%.
The United States in 2012-2016 accounted for one third of all arms exports, compared with 2007-2011 when the volume of exports from the United States grew by 21%. A significant share in deliveries is accounted for by strike fighters with missiles and precision-guided weapons. Russia accounts for 23% of all arms exports. 70% of its weapons go to four countries: India, Vietnam, China and Algeria.
In comparing the years 2007-2011 with 2012-2016, China's share in arms exports increased from 3.8 to 6.2%. China has overtaken France (6%) and Germany (5.6%).
France can increase supplies through large contracts signed in the last five years, SIPRI notes. Experts note the growth in the volume of international arms transactions since 2004.
When comparing the years 2007-2011 with 2012-2016, its volume increased by 8.4% and reached a maximum for any five-year period after the end of the Cold War. In the years 2012-2016, Azerbaijan imported 20 times more weapons than Armenia, the report says.
Sales of weapons to other states have always been associated with a complex combination of purely material considerations and the search for instruments of political influence.
At the moment, arms sales by the largest states are of considerable economic importance, since the sales amount is estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars.
International conventions prohibit the sale of only certain types of weapons and their means of production. Some UN resolutions completely prohibit the arms trade with individual states, for example, with North Korea.
The first problem is that these conventions and agreements have not been signed and/or ratified by all countries. In addition, it is often difficult to achieve compliance with UN resolutions, and even those countries that supported them.
Finally, countries that do not sign agreements can freely create all kinds of weapons, including weapons of mass destruction, and sell them openly to clients. In an ideal world, the arms market would be adjustable. But in an ideal world, weapons would not be necessary.
The most respected representatives of the international community constantly express their desire to restrict the arms trade to the "most necessary", and supply it only to responsible countries.
In fact, all these concepts of necessity and responsibility are highly subjective and often do not play a big role in comparison with economic realities and political and diplomatic plans.