UK Government Still Sending Arms To Russia

The UK Government is still exporting arms to Russia despite the shooting down of flight MH17.

Despite promising to cancel all arms related contracts to Moscow, the vast majority are still active.

As of May, there were 285 outstanding licenses allowing UK companies to export arms either to Russia or to another country which might then in time sell weapons to Russia.

This is despite the former Foreign Secretary William Hague promising the House of Commons in March that “the UK will now, with immediate effect, suspend all extant licenses and application processing for licenses for direct export to Russia for military and dual-use items destined for Russian armed forces.”

To date, only 34 of the 285 contracts have been cancelled.

The list of arms and parts that UK companies sell to Russia includes sniper rifles, body armour, assault rifles, communications equipment, small arms ammunition and night sights.

The total value of the contracts is 132m.

The Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Arms Export Controls, Sir John Stanley MP, has written to the current Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, asking whether the government plans to revoke the remaining licenses.

In response to the figures, the Foreign Office issued a statement saying the “majority of export licences that remain in place for Russia are for commercial use but we are keeping all licences under review”.

“This Government has not approved any licences for the export of rifles or ammunition to the Russian military,” the statement added.

Across the whole of the EU, licenses amounted to almost 160m or 200m Euros in military sales to Russia last year.

To add some context, the UK sent 4m of arms to Ukraine in 2013 – the EU total to Kiev was 30m.

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23 July 2014 | 12:29 am – Source: orange.co.uk

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