Norwegian companies exported weapons and military equipment worth about NOK 6.2 billion in 2020, compared to about NOK 4.5 billion in 2019.
The increase in exports corresponds to 36% compared with 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in its annual report on exports of defense equipment.
The member countries of NATO, Sweden and Finland, were the largest recipients of defense equipment from Norway. In 2020, exports of weapons and ammunition to these countries accounted for approximately 86% of total exports, according to the report.
The increase in exports of weapons and military equipment (so-called A-materiel) from 2019 to 2020 is largely due to exports of air defense systems and parts for such systems in Indonesia and Lithuania.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the threshold for refusing an export license is low, and Norway maintains a strict “precautionary” line.
Earlier this year, the Office of the Auditor General criticized the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stating that their assessments of which countries were allowed to buy defense equipment were not thorough enough and that the overall control to prevent illegal exports was too poor.
“The government is very concerned about continuing transparency both about the export of defense equipment and about how the Ministry of Foreign Affairs puts the guidelines into practice,” Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide (H) said.
Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews
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