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India world's biggest arms importer 2006-10: think tank

STOCKHOLM, (AFP) - India over the last five years was the world's biggest importer of weapons, said a report published Monday, which also showed big arms suppliers had scrambled during the period to sell to Libya.

"India is the world's largest arms importer," the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in a statement upon releasing the report.

"India receives nine percent of the volume of international arms transfers during 2006-10, with Russian deliveries accounting for 82 percent of Indian arms imports," it said.

India's arms import delivery volumes jumped 21 percent from the prior five-year-period, with aircraft accounting for 71 percent of its imports.

Indian army Brahmos missile launcher passes on a flotilla towards the India Gate memorial during rehearsal for the Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India. In its race to join the club of international powers, India has reached another major milestone, it's now the world's largest weapons importer. (AP-Yonhap News)
Indian army Brahmos missile launcher passes on a flotilla towards the India Gate memorial during rehearsal for the Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India. In its race to join the club of international powers, India has reached another major milestone, it's now the world's largest weapons importer. (AP-Yonhap News)


China and South Korea held a joint second place, each accounting for six percent of global arms imports, followed by Pakistan, which saw the volume of imports soar 128 percent from the 2001-2005 period to account for five percent of worldwide arms imports, the institute said.

Siemon Wezeman, of the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme, explained that India's imports of conventional weapons were largely driven by "rivalries with Pakistan and China, as well as internal security challenges."

"As an importer, India is demanding offsets and transfers of technology to boost its own arms industry," he said in the statement, adding that competition-pressed suppliers were agreeing to India's demands.

The United States remained the world's largest military equipment exporter, accounting for 30 percent of global arms exports in 2006-10, when 44 percent of the country's weapons sales went to Asia and Oceania, SIPRI said.

There was "intense competition" between the seller companies and countries to land big arms deals around the world, the institute said Monday.

Countries in the Middle East and North Africa, being rocked by popular uprisings, were seen as "potentially lucrative markets" for weapons exporters, largely due to the tensions across the region, which "provide drivers for demand as well as give cause for concern," SIPRI said.

For the five-year period ending in 2010, "arms imports were particularlyy high in the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Egypt and Algeria," while "Saudi Arabian and Moroccan arms imports are expected to rise significantly in the coming years," it added.

There had also been a rush to sell arms to Libya, the institute said.

"Although Libya placed only limited orders for major conventional weapons following the lifting of the UN arms embargo in 2003, in recent years it has served as an excellent illustration of the competition between major suppliers France, Italy, Russia and Britain for orders," Pieter Wezeman, also of the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme, said in the statement.

While this development was worrying, SIPRI stressed "there are limits to what supplier states are willing to provide," pointing out that the United Nations last month placed a broad embargo on arms sales to Libya.

The think tank, which specialises in research on conflicts, weapons, arms control and disarmament, was created in 1966 and is 50-percent financed by the Swedish state.

 

<한글 기사> 

"한국, 5년간 세계 2위 무기 수입국"

인도 9%로 수입국 1위 등극, 韓-中 6% 공동 2위

수입물량 71% 美 의존…수출국 美-러-獨-佛-英 순

우리나라가 지난 5년간 중국과 함께 세계에서 2번째로 많은 무기를 수입한 것으로 나타났다.

14일 스톡홀름 국제평화연구소(SIPRI)의 연례보고서에 따르면 2006∼2010년 우리나라는 전세계 재래식 무기 수입의 6%를 차지, 중국과 공동 2위의 수입국으로 기록됐다.

인도는 세계 무기 수입의 9%를 차지하며 중국을 제치고 1위 자리를 꿰찼고 파키 스탄(5%)이 4위, 그리스와 아랍에미리트(UAE), 싱가포르가 각각 4%로 공동 5위에 랭크됐다.

우리나라가 수입한 무기는 미국산이 71%로 가장 많았으며 독일(16%)과 프랑스(9 %), 러시아, 스웨덴 등이 뒤를 이었다.

미국은 세계 무기의 30%를 판매해 최대 수출국의 자리를 지켰고 다음은 러시아( 23%), 독일(11%), 프랑스(7%), 영국(5) 등의 순이었다.

미국이 가장 많은 무기를 수출한 나라는 한국(14%), 호주(9%), UAE(8%)의 순인 반면 러시아는 인도(33%), 중국(23%), 알제리(13%)의 순으로 많이 팔았다.

또 독일은 그리스(15%), 남아프리카공화국(11%), 터키(15%) 등에, 프랑스는 싱가포르(23%), UAE( 16%), 그리스(12%)의 순으로 많은 무기를 수출했다.

SIPRI가 지난해 발표한 보고서(2005∼2009년)에서 우리나라는 세계 무기 수입의 6%로 아랍에미리트(UAE)와 함께 공동 3위를 차지했었다.

한편 최근 5년간 인도는 처음으로 중국을 제치고 세계 최대 무기 수입국의 지위를 차지했으며 당분간 이 지위를 계속 유지할 것으로 전망됐다.

이는 인도가 서남아권에서의 영향력 유지와 날로 세력을 확장해가는 중국에 대한 견제, 국제사회에서의 위상 강화 등을 위해 국방현대화 사업에 엄청난 예산을 쏟아붓고 있기 때문이다.

반면 중국의 무기수입이 줄어든 것은 자체적인 군수산업 역량을 계속 확장하는 과정에서 나타난 자연스런 현상으로 해석됐다.

(연합뉴스)

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