India was the top arms importer in 2019-2023

India was the top arms importer in the world in the period 2019-23, with imports having gone up by 4.7% compared with the period 2014-18, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

At the same time, arms imports by European countries increased by 94% between 2014-18 and 2019-23, the report said, which comes against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine.

Although Russia remained India’s main arms supplier [accounting for 36% of its arms imports], this was the first five-year period since 1960-64 when deliveries from Russia [or the Soviet Union prior to 1991] made up less than half of India’s arms imports.

Nine of the 10 biggest arms importers in 2019-23, including the top three of India, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, were in Asia and Oceania or the West Asia.

 Imports of Pakistan, the fifth largest arms importer in 2019-23, went up by 43%, with China supplying as much as 82% of all its arms imports.