Report: War in Ukraine triggers arms sales

STOCKHOLM (HPD) — Global firearms sales rose nearly 2% in 2021, the seventh straight year with an increase, an international watchdog said Monday.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) added that the war in Ukraine has increased demand for firearms this year, but the conflict may also lead to a supply challenge, especially since Russia is a major supplier. of raw materials used in the production of weapons.

That could hamper efforts by the United States and Europe to bolster their armed forces and replenish their reserves after sending billions of dollars worth of ammunition and miscellaneous equipment to Ukraine, according to the institute.

“Scaling up production takes time,” said Diego Lopes da Silva, a senior researcher at SIPRI, adding that if supply chain disruptions continue, “it could take several years for some of the major arms producers to cover the new demand created by the Ukrainian war”.

SIPRI noted that there are reports that Russian companies are increasing production due to the war, but have struggled to obtain semiconductors and are affected by war-related sanctions. He gave as an example a company that, he said, has not been able to receive payments for some of its arms deliveries abroad.

In 2021, arms sales reached $592 billion and grew 1.9%, an amount higher than the previous period but still lower than the average of the four years leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its report published on Monday, SIPRI indicated that “many parts of the industry were affected by pandemic-related disruptions to global supply chains in 2021, including global shipping delays and a shortage of vital components.”

“We could have had even higher growth in arms sales in 2021 without lingering supply chain problems,” said Dr. Lucie Béraud-Sudreau, head of SIPRI’s Arms Production and Military Expenditure Programme.

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