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India is the world's largest arms importer: SIPRI

Ruchira Kondepudi
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India was the world's largest importer of arms from 2013 to 2017, according to report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

India's arms imports rose 24 percent from the previous five-year period (2008-2012). Saudi Arabia was the second largest importer, while Egypt was the third.

Russia accounted for 62 percent of India's arms imports over the past five years, making it India's largest arms supplier. US follows at second place, since arms imports to India have gone up by 557 percent between 2008–12 and 2013–17, the report said.

The research institute attributed India's push to import weapons to tensions in the South Asian region.

"The tensions between India, on the one side, and Pakistan and China, on the other, are fuelling India's growing demand for major weapons, which it remains unable to produce itself," said Siemon Wezeman, Senior Researcher at SIPRI.

In the 2013-2017 period, Pakistan's arms imports dropped  by 36 percent from the 2008-2012 period. China's arms imports, too, fell by 19 percent, the report said.

China is the world's fifth largest arms importer, SIPRI research indicates.

The US was the largest exporter of arms over the past five years, accounting for 34 percent of the world's arms exports.

US, Russia, France, Germany and China are the world's largest arms exporters.

Overall, volume of international transfers of major weapons rose 10 percent between 2013-2017 and 2008-2012, according to SIPRI.