Swedish Think Tank’s Report on Russian Arms Exports Contains Biased Info: Expert

 / Go to the mediabankKalashnikov assault rifle / Go to the mediabankInternationalIndiaAfricaOleg BurunovSIPRI’s latest report on major arms exporters is only based on information the think tank managed to obtain, Alexey Leonkov, a military expert and editor at the Arsenal Otechestva (Fatherland’s Arsenal) magazine, told Sputnik.Russia’s arms exports have declined by 31% over the past five years, but the country remains the world’s second­-largest weapons exporter after the US, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has claimed in its new fact sheet.While global arms exports have long been dominated by the US and Russia, the gap between the two in this field has grown significantly, according to the Swedish think tank.

“When covering the situation with the Russian military-industrial complex, SIPRI only uses information that it manages to obtain. Therefore, the accuracy of SIPRI’s analysis regarding the Russian military-industrial complex always has a certain kind of error,” Leonkov said.

He added that the beginning of the ongoing Russian special operation in Ukraine has complicated SIPRI’s process of obtaining such information.According to Leonkov, the figures that SIPRI uses in its reports reflect the annual financial transactions that take place under certain contracts, clinched for the period of several years, which means that the cost of the contracts may change.

“Given packages of sanctions that have been slapped on Russian banks, the path of this money is often quite long and uneven. Therefore, it’s hard to make a fair analysis on the basis of information SIPRI obtains. I would not call their reports 100% reliable, because the above-­mentioned factors are not taken into account and SIPRI never mentions them in its latest report,” the expert stressed.

RussiaRussia’s Newest S-500 Missile System Exports to Start in Next Few Years – Arms Exporter19 November 2021, 17:04 GMTWhen asked why SIPRI reports often draw flak from Russian analysts, Leonkov explained that the Swedish think tank mainly focuses on a state’s financial affairs and the quantity of military hardware, which he said is a wrong approach.“This is not a true indicator of an army’s combat capability because military equipment and level of training of the armed forces can be in different conditions. Referring to a large quantity of weapons is not always a guarantee of a reliable analysis about a battle-ready army,” the expert pointed out.


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