Date: Wed, 28 Aug 1996 11:29:54 -0500
From: “L-Soft list server at MIZZOU1 (1.8b)”
Subject: File: “DATABASE OUTPUT”

—> Database ACTIV-L, 8413 hits.

> print 08341
>>> Item number 8341, dated 96/08/26 23:23:30—ALL
Date: Mon, 26 Aug 1996 23:23:30 GMT
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU>
From: Rich Winkel <>
Organization: PACH
Subject: Russia surpasses U.S. in arms sales to developing nations

/** disarm.armstra: 44.0 **/
** Topic: Grimmett Report released **
** Written 12:26 PM Aug 20, 1996 by basicusa in cdp:disarm.armstra **

Russia Is Top Arms Seller to Developing Nations

By Philip Shenon, New York Times, 29 August 1996

WASHINGTON—Russia, eager to bolster its economy with the hard currency it earns from the sale of everything from bullets to jet fighters, surpassed the United States and France last year as the largest arms seller to the developing world, according to a new congressional report.

The report by the Congressional Research Service calculated that Russian arms sales to developing nations rebounded from a slump that set in after the breakup of the Soviet Union, growing by 62 percent last year—to $6 billion in 1995 from $3.7 billion in 1994—and that its most important buyer was China.

“Russia has made significant efforts to gain arms agreements with developing nations that can pay cash for their purchases,” the report said. “With Russia now having an emerging market economy, domestic defense industries also have greater freedom to promote the sale of their weaponry.”

Russian arms merchants had a banner year even as the overall market for arms in the developing world continued to shrink, falling to $15.4 billion last year, the fifth consecutive year that total arms sales have shown a decline. As recently as 1988, arms sales to developing countries totaled $61 billion.

According to the annual study by the research service, an arm of Congress, sales by American defense contractors to developing nations fell from $6.3 billion in 1994 to $3.8 billion last year, which left the United States in second place among the world's arms merchants. French sales to the developing world dropped to $2.7 billion last year from $8.9 billion in 1994, pushing it to third place.

While the report offered little analysis of the strategic implications of these shifts among arms sellers, it made clear that some nations are so eager for their share of a shrinking international arms market that they may be selling destabilizing weapons, including ballistic missiles, to developing nations.

The report singled out China as a nation that has “demonstrated its readiness to sell such weapons to any state that sought them,” even if that meant violating international accords on arms transfers. In recent years, China has sold missiles to Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

The report defined the developing world as all nations except the United States, Russia, Western Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. The developing nations, it said, accounted for slightly more than half of all arms purchases worldwide last year.

The report's author, Richard F. Grimmett, said the sharp drop in weapons sales to the developing world reflected the end both of the Cold War and of a period of rearmament in the Middle East after the 1991 war in the Persian Gulf.

“As competition over a shrinking international arms market intensifies, it is likely that suppliers such as France, Russia and the United Kingdom may routinely shift in their rankings relative to one another and to the United States,” the report said.