As part of its sanctions against Russia, the EU has cracked down on the arms trade with Moscow
But Russia is one of the few countries in the world that is nearly self-sufficient in its defense production
In the short-term, the arms ban is unlikely to have a significant impact on Russia's military might
The West has slapped stringent sanctions on Russia in response to the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, believed by the U.S. and others to have been shot down with a Russia-supplied Buk missile system by eastern Ukraine rebels.
While the introduction of financial sanctions will create the most immediate squeeze on Russia, it is the crack-down on the arms trade which has triggered debate. Future imports and exports between the EU and Russia are now banned – but existing contracts, including France’s $1.6 billion Mistral-class warships deal, are allowed to go ahead.
But Russia is one of the few countries in the world that is nearly self-sufficient in its defense production, according to IHS Jane’s expert Guy Anderson. So will the arms embargo have an impact?
Here is a cheat-sheet on Europe’s arms trade with Russia.
How big is the arms trade between Europe and Russia?
European Union countries earned $583 million from weapons exports to Russia in 2013, the bulk of which was part-payment of the Mistral deal, according to analysis from IHS Jane’s.
Russia is, by comparison, the world’s second largest military exporter after the U.S., earning $13.2 billion from arms exports last year. Its biggest customers are India and China, countries which have not joined the sanctions against Russia.