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Study: Ukraine becomes world's third largest arms importer in 2022
As a result of military assistance provided by the U.S. and European countries following the full-scale Russian invasion in February last year, Ukraine became the world's third largest arms importer in 2022, according to a new study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
From 1991 to the end of 2021, Ukraine imported a small number of major weapons, while over the last five years, the country accounted for 2% of the world's arms imports, the SIPRI wrote on March 13.
According to the institute's data, European weaponry imports rose by 47% between 2013 and 2022 "due to the tensions between Russia and most other European states."
The SIPRI added that the United States' share of arms exports had increased from 33 to 40%, while Russia's dropped from 22 to 16%.
'Due to concerns about how the supply of combat aircraft and long-range missiles could further escalate the war in Ukraine, NATO states declined Ukraine's requests for them in 2022. At the same time, they supplied such arms to other states involved in conflict, particularly in the Middle East and South Asia,' said Pieter D. Wezeman, Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme.
Ukraine has been requesting fighter jets for months to defend its skies and maximize the effectiveness of its combined arms forces during a future counteroffensive. However, multiple Western allies, including the U.S. and Germany, have ruled out sending planes in the near term, while debates about their provision are ongoing.
A similar dynamic played out last year when Ukraine tried to secure modern Western main battle tanks from international supporters — after months of hesitation, the West eventually authorized and pledged tank deliveries to Ukraine in late January.
On March 8 in Stockholm, EU defense ministers agreed to ramp up the supply of ammunition to Ukraine but have yet to reach a "concrete and formal decision."