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Russian arms sales challenged by rivals and sanctions

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Significance

Selling mainly to non-US allies in Asia and North Africa, Russia has been the world's second-largest arms exporter after the United States for the last decade. The 2020 dip seems attributable to COVID-19 disruption having slowed deliveries to China and India. US sanctions might also have had some effect.

Impacts

  • The path of global recovery will influence Russian arms sales: lower-income countries are in a worse position than rich ones.
  • New sales to Myanmar will signal Moscow's political support for the military junta.
  • Import substitution efforts to mitigate Western sanctions are still slow and may lead to shortages that impede production and exports.
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