Europe
Germany's exports of military equipment declined significantly
Last Updated: 2018-12-29 14:50 | Xinhua
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German companies exported weapons and military equipment worth 4.62 billion euros (5.30 billion U.S. dollars) until De. 13 of the current year, significantly down from a total of 6.24 billion euros in 2017, the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy revealed on Friday.

Following an inquiry by Green party politician Omid Nouripour, the economy ministry said that the biggest customer of the German arms industry was Algeria, which bought military equipment worth 802 million euros in 2018, followed by the United States with 506 million euros and Australia with 432 million euros. Saudi Arabia ranked fourth with imports of German military equipment worth 416 million euros.

This year marked the third consecutive one that would see German military exports decline. In 2015, military exports had risen for the last time and reached a record figure of 7.86 billion euros.

Green party politician Nouripour criticized, that "despite the announcements in the coalition agreement, the balance of export licenses for this year is devastating."

In March this year, the German government announced not to export military equipment to countries, which are "directly" involved in the Yemen war. Back then, however, the German government made an exception for contracts that had already been concluded.

More recently, Germany imposed a temporary export ban on arms exports to Saudi Arabia after the killing of government-critical Saudi journalist Jamal Kashoggi.

Hans Christoph Atzpodien, chairman of the Federation of German Security and Defence Industries (BDSV), urged the governing parties in Germany not to deal with "purely political topics" on the back of companies. "Of course, compensation claims are also conceivable in this context," Atzpodien told the German press agency (dpa) on Friday.

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