The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has led to an increase in weapons imports for Ukraine, with its Western allies providing significant military aid. However, despite the massive inflow of weapons, Ukraine is not the world’s largest weapons importer in 2022; it is ranked third after Qatar and India, according to the Stockholm Peace Research Institute.
Ukraine was the 14th largest importer of weapons in the world between 2018 and 2022. However, the rapid escalation of the conflict in 2022 saw it rise to the third spot, with the United States being its largest arms supplier, accounting for 35% of total imports, followed by Poland, Germany, Great Britain, and the Czech Republic.
With the massive military aid packages from the West, Ukraine is expected to receive advanced weaponry, including tanks and fighter jets, which may further increase its ranking in 2023.
On the other hand, the United States leads the arms export market, increasing its share from 33% to 40% between 2018 and 2022. Russia is in second place, but its market share has decreased from 22% to 16%, while France has ramped up its military exports, growing from 7.1% to 11%. It is expected that neighboring countries of Russia, including Ukraine, will continue to arm themselves better due to the lack of trust in Russia’s security policies.
The current situation has led Western defense companies to invest aggressively in defense technology and ramp up their production. Moreover, Ukraine’s large military industry and its strategic location in Europe make it a potential strong player in the defense industry in the future. Companies like Rheinmetall are already planning to establish tank factories in Ukraine.
Overall, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine has led to significant changes in the global arms market, with the country’s imports and exports of weapons being a crucial factor. As the conflict continues, it remains to be seen how the market will evolve and how countries will adapt to the changing dynamics.