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Seven European countries make the top 10 of world's major arms exporters

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Seven European countries make the top 10 of world's major arms exporters
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Seven countries in Europe have made it into the top 10 list of the world's biggest exporters of major arms, while international arms transfers on a whole have continued to increase.

Russia, France and Germany are included in the top 5, which make up three-quarters of all the world's major arms exports.

The data was released on Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), which was used to compare previous data sets with the period between 2014-18.

Despite Russia topping Europe's table, it actually recorded a decrease of 17% in exports, while France, which ranked Europe's second biggest arms exporter, recorded a huge increase of 43%.

According to SIPRI, Russia's decline could be attributed to the decrease in demand from two of its largest clients -- India and Venezuela.

Such exports to Venezuela have decreased by 96% since 2009.

European Union

Exports from Western Europe's top 5 have risen by 2% since 2009, with a particular focus on the Middle East.

France saw a huge increase of 261% to the region, with Germany coming in second at 125%.

Italy's grew 75%, while UK exports grew 30%.

As the world's biggest importer of arms, Saudi Arabia is a crucial client for many countries, but in particular for France, the UK, Spain and Sweden.

Imports fell by 13% across Europe due in part to long-term effects of the global economic crisis, SIPRI noted.

But despite this overall decrease in imports, several countries exhibiting "growing tensions" with Russia have been bolstering their arsenals.

Norway, for example, has ordered anti-submarine warfare aircraft and four submarines from the US and Germany respectively.