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Spain exported weapons worth almost 3,300 million euros in 2021

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Published:

26 Jun 2022 14:06 GMT

The criticism of Congress falls on arms exports destined for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, given suspicions that the material may be being used in the war in Yemen.

Spanish arms companies exported defense material worth 3,290.2 million euros (almost 3,500 million dollars) in 2021, with half of sales going to the countries of the European Union and NATO, more than 109 million to Saudi Arabia and 73.7 million to the United Arab Emirates.

The official figures were presented this Wednesday in Congress by the Secretary of State for Commerce, Xiana Méndez. According to the report, who have had access local media, during the year 2021 there was 9.1% less exports than those reported in 2020.

Criticism for exports to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates

However, criticism from Congress falls on the exports of the almost 200 million euros in defense and dual-use material destined for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, a value that significantly exceeded that registered in 2020.

Several parliamentary groups questioned the secretary about existing suspicions that this material may be being used in the yemen warsince, according to Spanish law, it is prohibited to sell weapons to countries where “there are reasonable indications” that “may be used in actions that disturb the peacestability or security on a global or regional level”.

In this context, Méndez maintained that Spain is not aware that the exported weapons material is being used in the war in Yemen and clarified that there is no embargo against arms sales to neither of the two countries, only a 2015 United Nations resolution against the people who participated in the coup in Yemen, which triggered a civil war in which both nations intervene.

According to the report, Saudi Arabia acquired parts, pieces and spare parts for Spanish-made military transport planes and for aerial refueling planes; combat aircraft equipment, technology and parts; four troop transport launches, remote control systems for weapons of various calibers; mortar shells; artillery shells and unmanned aerial vehicle launch control system.

The United Arab Emirates, for its part, bought a complete military transport plane; parts, pieces and spare parts for Spanish-made transport aircraft, for aerial refueling aircraft and for helicopter engines; limpet mines for combat and training; remote control systems for weapons of various calibers; a mortar and different types of grenades and ammunition.

Most of the trade, with the EU and NATO

According to data provided in the report, most of the exports, which represent the 52.3% of saleswere intended for the European allies, being their main trading partners France, Germany and the Netherlandsto which Spain fundamentally delivered refueling and transport planes worth 654, 432 and 407 million euros, respectively.

Sales to other non-European allies account for almost 21% of the total, highlighting United Kingdomwhich in 2021 bought defense material, especially “various vehicles” of which the report does not give more details, for a value of almost €528 million.

While, Australia is the only country outside the EU and NATO whose purchases from the Spanish arms industry exceeded 100 million euros, acquiring material valued at €279 million.

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Written by Editor TLN

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