Tajikistan Buying Guns; Ukraine Selling Weapons to Both Armenia and Azerbaijan
Tajikistan has gone on a but of a small-arms buying spree, and Ukraine has been selling lots of weapons to both Armenia and Azerbaijan. Those are some of the early returns from the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, to which countries are supposed to report all the weapons imports and exports they have engaged in over the previous year. The 2010 register has been published. Most of the big transfers -- of aircraft or ships, for example -- tend to make the news before this comes out, but lesser deals, like small arms, don't.
Tajikistan hasn't bought much over the last decade, but in 2010 it bought a number of small arms from Serbia and Bulgaria. According to the register, Tajikistan's purchases from Bulgaria:
120 rifles and carbines
200 submachine guns
76 assault rifles
100 light machine guns
200 handheld grenade launchers
6 60mm mortars
And from Serbia:
100 rifles and carbines
29 light machine guns
195 heavy machine guns
Seems a reasonable set of purchases given Tajikistan's fight against Islamist rebels.
Meanwhile, Ukraine reports that it has engaged in the time-honored tradition of selling weapons to both sides of a conflict. To Azerbaijan:
71 BTR-70 armored combat vehicles (without arms)
7 122mm self-propelled artillery systems
1 Mi-24R attack helicopter
3,000 submachine guns
1 portable anti-tank missile launcher or rocket system
And to Armenia:
2 L-39 training aircraft
230 revolvers and pistols
60 rifles and carbines
16,500 submachine guns
2,501 light machine guns
Mongolia, filed a report but had nothing to declare. Turkmenistan filed a report saying it had nothing to declare, but Russia's report noted the delivery of 8 artillery systems to Turkmenistan. Georgia hasn't filed a report since 2007, Uzbekistan since 2003. But Paul Holtom of the great institution SIPRI (who deserves credit for calling my attention to the above) notes that although the deadline is May, reports also trickle in throughout the summer. So we'll keep you posted.
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