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How Russia’s declining arms sales is reshaping the global defence industry

16th April 2024 - 16:45 GMT | by Norbert Neumann in London


Serbia has reportedly been close to signing a €3 billion deal with France’s Dassault Aviation for up to 12 Rafale fighter jets. (Photo: French Air Force on X)

As Serbia considers a multi-billion-euro deal for French Rafale fighter jets, its move towards Western arms has signalled a significant departure from its reliance on Russian equipment, reflecting broader shifts in global defence procurement.

Russia’s international arms sales halved between 2019 and 2023. With war raging in Ukraine and sanctions hitting Moscow hard, the country fell behind France for the first time becoming the world's third-largest arms exporter, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

As Russia’s influence wanes – the country exported major arms to 31 states in 2019 but only exported to 12 in 2023 – countries such as India are focusing more on their own military strengths and teaming up with old rivals. Age-old alley Serbia, meanwhile, has been increasingly turning to the West for military gear, marking change driven by practical needs and global politics. The trend will likely continue

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Norbert Neumann


Norbert Neumann

Norbert is the Aviation, Military Training & Simulation reporter at Shephard Media. Before joining Shephard in …

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