Weapon Exports

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch fails in German court against export restrictions
Arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch fails in German court against export restrictions
Credit: Dybdal / Mattes / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Following the decision of the Berlin Administrative Court on exports to South Korea, Singapore and Indonesia, the company did not appeal, said a spokesman for the Swabian arms manufacturer. The deadline for appeals and for going to the Federal Administrative Court recently expired, making the decision from early January legally binding.

In the proceedings, the arms manufacturer had accused the federal government of a so-called "discretionary error of judgment." The company questioned whether the German government actually has the final say on arms exports or whether courts can review export refusals.

Regional News • World
USA imposes sanctions on Turkey over purchase of Russian missile system
USA imposes sanctions on Turkey over purchase of Russian missile system
Credit: Vitaly V. Kuzmin / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The U.S. is imposing sanctions on NATO ally Turkey over its deployment of Russia's S-400 missile defense system. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday in Washington that punitive measures would be imposed against the Defense Security Directorate (SSB). The directorate reports to the office of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The sanctions included a ban on all U.S. export licenses and permits for SSB, Pompeo announced.

Any assets of SSB chief Ismail Demir and other U.S. executives would be frozen. They would also be subject to entry restrictions. At the same time, Pompeo stressed that Turkey is a "valued ally" of the U.S. and an important security partner in the region, and that they would like to see continued cooperation in the defense sector.

Regional News • Europe
Alexander Lukashenko says he asked Russia to supply new weapons to Belarus
Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin
Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin Credit: Kremlin

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Wednesday he had asked the Russian president to supply Belarus with new weapons.

During a visit of the Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu to Minsk, Lukashenko stated: "I also asked the Russian president to provide certain types of weapons to us. I told him: when you come, we will see what things we need to strengthen in terms of the Union State."

Regional News • Europe • Germany
Germany has systematically violated arms export regulations for 30 years
A Leopard 2 tank in a NATO exercise
A Leopard 2 tank in a NATO exercise Credit: Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

A new study by the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF) claims Germany, since 1990, has authorized and exported weapons and military equipment to be used in countries with human rights violations and ravaged by war.

According to the EU criteria, the recipient of arms must respect human rights and international law, as well as maintain peace and stability in their region. However, Germany has repeatedly struck deals with nations with a poor human rights record, such as Algeria, Egypt, Yemen, and Indonesia, oftentimes selling off old Bundeswehr hardware, PRIF notes.

The study states there have been "wars fought with German weapons and serious human rights violations.".

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Parliament of Scotland votes for immediate export stop of tear gas, rubber bullets and riot shields to the United States
Tear gas usage during protest
Tear gas usage during protest Credit: unsplash.com/Koshu Kunii

With 52 votes to 0 votes and 11 abstentions, the Scottish Parliament has passed a motion that calls the government of the United Kingdom to "immediately suspend all export licences for tear gas, rubber bullets and riot gear to the US" and states that it "stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement".