The world in terms of Russian and US arms imports

As crises balloon around the world, Russia and the US increasingly find themselves at odds. Tensions between the two countries have reached levels not seen since the Cold War and experts have warned that Putin is involved in an “existential struggle” against the West.

Against this backdrop, the nations around the world finds themselves increasingly divided over where they purchase their arms and whose orbit they are in. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the US sold $US10.2 billion worth of equipment worldwide compared to Russia’s $US5.98 billion in 2014.

Predictably, the US is the main weapons supplier of Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia. Saudi Arabia was the largest importer of US arms, buying almost $US1.2 billion worth of equipment alone.

Russia largely supplied weaponry to the BRIC nations, as well as to select countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia that have spottier human-rights records such as Sudan, Belarus, and Iran. Moscow’s largest export market in 2014 was Vietnam, which purchased almost $US1 billion worth of arms.

Thirteen countries bought weaponry from both the US and Russia. In 2014, India was the largest arms importer in the world, having purchased $US4.2 billion worth of equipment. New Delhi purchased $US2.1 billion of equipment from Moscow and $US1.1 billion from the US.

Interestingly, the one country that bucks the predicted trend of arms imports is EU and NATO member Hungary. Budapest purchased $US7 million worth of equipment from Russia in 2014. The country has become increasingly pro-Russian in recent years, and Putin has called Hungary one of Russia’s most valuable trade partners.

You can read an explanation of SIPRI’s methodology here.

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