Arms exports licences sanctioned by Berlin fell by a quarter in 2020

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Berlin, Jan. 7, 2021 Export licences for German armaments fell by more than a quarter in 2020, after a record year in 2019, the economy ministry said on Friday.

The German government allowed the weapons industry to export arms and military equipment worth 5.82 billion euros (7.14 billion dollars) – 27 per cent less than the 8 billion euros’ worth of arms it gave the green light to in 2019.

The share of exports to countries that do not belong to the EU or NATO increased, however.

In 2020, around half of the approved deliveries (50.1 per cent) went to these third-party countries – a significant increase from 2019, when that percentage stood at 44.1 per cent.

Exports to these countries are particularly controversial because some of them are involved in conflicts or are seen as violating human rights standards.

“More than 50 per cent of the value attributable to third-party countries can be traced back to major orders for the maritime sector,” the economy ministry said.

As in 2019, the recipient country to spend the most money on arms and equipment from Germany was Hungary, with an export volume of 838.4 million euros.

Egypt (763.7 million euros), Israel (582.4 million euros) and the U.S. (509.2 million euros) were ranked second, third and fourth.

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