US, Russia dominate arms sales to developing countries

According US congressional report, military rivals Pakistan and India top the list as buyers, followed by Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

October 1, 2007 19:11
1 minute read.
US, Russia dominate arms sales to developing countries

arms expo 88. (photo credit: )

The United States and Russia dominate the trade in arms sales to developing countries, controlling over half of the global market between them, according to a report by US congressional researchers. The report found that orders for arms by developing countries fell between 2005 and 2006 by 13 percent to $40.3 billion (€28.3 billion), according to an annual report by the Congressional Research Service, a part of the Library of Congress. But the researchers attributed the decline to efforts by the some countries to integrate into their arsenals new weapons systems purchased in massive deals in earlier years. The major West European suppliers, France, Britain, Germany and Italy, posted a significant decline in global market share from over 34% of sales to developing countries in 2005 to just over 19% in 2006. The report said that those Western European countries have been gradually losing market share, but shot up the tables for a few years due to a small number of large deals. In 2006, the United States agreed to $10.3 billion (€7.24 billion) in sales to developing countries, over 35% of the market, followed by Russia, at $8.1 billion (€5.69 billion). During a four year period ending in 2006, the two countries were responsible for over 56% of all deals. Military rivals Pakistan and India topped the list as buyers, followed by Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. More than 70% of all US deals in that period were with the Middle East, the report found. Russia has maintained its Cold War commercial ties to India and China as the biggest supplier of arms, while the United States continues to be Pakistan's biggest supplier. The report found that Russia has been trying to expand its client list, particularly to Southeast Asia and Latin America. In 2006, Russia concluded billions of dollars in deals for tanks, fighter planes and other weapons with Venezuela, after abandoning the Latin market following the Cold War. The report said that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has sought to displace US influence in the region, has made clear that he wants more deals with Russia, drawing concern from Washington. "There is a concern that such purchases could stimulate other states in the region to seek comparable weapons systems as a counterweight to Chavez's military buildup," the report said.

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