A third of European Union (EU) member states exported weapons to Russia after the 2014 embargo banning them, according to data from the working group, which records all military exports from the 27, analyzed by Investigate Europe.
The data, released today in the newspaper Public, indicate that 10 EU countries exported weapons to Russia after the July 2014 embargo, which prohibits “the direct or indirect sale, supply, transfer or export of weapons and related material”. The 2014 embargo followed the annexation of Crimea and the proclamation of the breakaway republics of Donbass six months earlier.Every year, the 27 member states submit their data to the Council of the EU Working Group on Conventional Arms Exports, COARM.
Data analyzed by the Investigate Europe consortium indicates that between 2015 and 2021 at least 10 member states exported weapons to Russia worth a total of 346 million euros.
According to the consortium’s investigation, some European Union countries used a legal loophole in regulations to continue their trade.
The embargo “does not apply to contracts and agreements, nor to ongoing negotiations carried out before August 1, 2014, nor to the supply of spare parts and services necessary for the maintenance and security of existing capacities,” according to the consortium.
COARM explained in a response sent to Investigate Europe that “the EU arms embargo contains the following exemption: contracts concluded before 1 August 2014 or accessory contracts for the performance of such contracts. should be covered by this exemption. Member States are responsible for ensuring compliance with the arms embargo and the EU Common Position”.According to COARM, member states are not arming Russia.
Investigate Europe’s analysis puts France far ahead of EU partners, with 44% of sales to Russia.
Since 2015, France has issued export licenses for “bombs, rockets, torpedoes, missiles, explosive charges”, but also “imaging equipment, planes with their components and drones”.
According to the survey, in 2014 French arms dealers authorized the shipment to Russia of “toxic chemical or biological agents, riot control agents and radioactive substances”.
After France comes Germany, which, according to the consortium, exported 121.8 million euros to Russia, representing 35% of total exports.Behind France and Germany are also Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Finland, Slovakia and Spain, but with lower sales. Portugal is not part of this group.