Posts Tagged ‘‘Scrutin of Arms Exports and Arms Controls (2014)’

Private Eye on Britain’s Arms Sales to both Russia and Ukraine

March 16, 2016

I found this piece in Private Eye issue for 8th – 21st August 2014, reporting how Britain was selling arms to both Ukraine and Russia during the conflict over the country’s civil conflict over links with Russia.

World at War

It’s not just UK arms sales to Russia and Israel that should cause concern: there is plenty of equally fascinating material about other deals buried in the 56 page parliamentary report [Scrutiny of Arms Exports and Arms Controls (2014)]

The UK has been exporting arms to Russia for at least a decade – but lest anyone accuse us of taking sides, we have also been supplying arms to Ukraine at the same time.

Despite government “concerns”, components for sniper rifles, among other weapons paraphernalia, have been sold to Ukraine – the same components for the same sniper rifles that have been sold to Russia. In the Ukrainian deal, the weapons were described as “hunting rifles”, perhaps to avoid the embarrassing prospect of the UK being outed as a supplier of similar weapons to both sides of the same conflict, which it is.

Meanwhile, the Syrians have also been sold UK “dual use chemicals”, which could easily be turned into a weapon.

At the same time, Iraq, now embroiled in its own conflict with Jihadists spilling over the Syrian border is also a recipient of British weaponry, including small arms and ammunition. Inside Iraq a bevy of “sneaky-beaky” special forces types are tasked with stopping the Jihadis from Syria from cutting off Iraqi oil supplies. “They”-the SAS-are not covered by export licences, but they will be fighting Jihadists using equipment that is.

I’ve put up pieces before about the government profiteering from selling arms to some of the worst despots in the world, such as Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are using some of the ‘wonderful things’ Cameron raved about when he visited BAE Systems plant in Wharton, Lancashire, to butcher Shia civilians in Yemen. And then there’s this, showing that Cameron’s government was merrily supplying guns and equipment to both sides in the murderous conflict in that country.