Ukraine’s integration into the world arms market

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Hostilities in eastern Ukraine have highlighted the need for accelerated transformation of Ukrainian armed forces and strengthening country’s defense capabilities. Ukraine is an active consumer and exporter of weapons, so it needs to improve constantly its position in the international arms market, which, by the way, unlike most markets suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, is constantly growing. The study aims to assess the prospects of Ukraine’s integration into the world arms market to secure its armed forces and achieve the highest possible level of arms exports. Methods of comparative analysis and integrated approach were used in the study. The obtained results demonstrated that Ukrainian arms export has fallen dramatically in recent years (from 1501 million USD in 2012 to 115 million USD in 2020); the largest importers were China (36% of Ukraine’s total arms exports), Russia (20%), and Thailand (17%). The main explanation for this is the necessity of transition to more technological weapons. Concerning weapon imports, Turkey, the USA, Great Britain, Poland, and Bulgaria became the main suppliers. It is about ammunition, electronics, including electronic warfare stations, means of communication, sniper rifles, grenade launchers, etc. The study substantiated that Ukraine should implement joint projects with other countries to fully develop its high-tech weapons in accordance with the latest military technologies.

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    • Figure 1. The number of military conflicts in 2020 by regions of the world
    • Figure 2. Military expenditures in the world in trillion USD (2005–2020)
    • Figure 3. Military expenditure (% of GDP) in the world (2005–2020)
    • Figure 4. Distribution of military spending worldwide in 2020, by country
    • Figure 5. Countries with the highest military spending worldwide in 2020 (in billion USD)
    • Figure 6. Ukraine’s arms exports in 2000–2020, million USD
    • Figure 7. Top 10 Ukrainian companies-exporters of military products in 2020, in terms of income
    • Conceptualization
      Fedir Zhuravka, Tetiana Makarenko
    • Methodology
      Fedir Zhuravka
    • Project administration
      Fedir Zhuravka
    • Writing – review & editing
      Fedir Zhuravka
    • Data curation
      Rostislav Botvinov, Natalia Nebaba
    • Investigation
      Rostislav Botvinov, Tetiana Makarenko, Natalia Nebaba
    • Resources
      Rostislav Botvinov, Marharyta Parshyna, Natalia Nebaba
    • Validation
      Rostislav Botvinov, Natalia Nebaba
    • Formal Analysis
      Marharyta Parshyna, Tetiana Makarenko
    • Software
      Marharyta Parshyna
    • Visualization
      Marharyta Parshyna, Tetiana Makarenko
    • Writing – original draft
      Tetiana Makarenko