Ukraine: an influx of weapons which raises fears of smuggling

Ukraine: arms influx raising fears of smuggling

UPDATE DAY

A few days before the signing of a US aid program for Ukraine to accelerate the flow of weapons to the country at war, the question of Washington's ability to keep the trace to avoid smuggling arises. 

The illicit arms market has already exploded in Ukraine during the first invasion of Russia in 2014 due to a surplus of weapons in bulk and their limited control, the Washington Post reported on Saturday.

“It's just impossible to track not only where [guns] all go and who's using them, but also how they're being used,” Rachel Stohl, a gun control expert and vice president of the Stimson Center, told the media.

According to the State Department, Ukrainian units that are to receive these weapons undergo a thorough examination. Kyiv is also obligated to sign agreements that “do not allow the retransfer of equipment to third parties without prior authorization from the US government”.

Ukraine: arms influx raises fears of smuggling

Ukraine: arms influx raising fears of smuggling

It remains difficult to ensure compliance with these contracts, which would undermine efforts to combat the proliferation of weapons, according to experts.

“The Breaking these end-use agreements poses a serious threat to the underlying, but weak, ability of countries to control how weapons are used,” said Jeff Abramson, conventional arms transfer expert at the Arms Control Association.

The emergency spending bill still needs to be approved by the US Senate. 

If passed, Ukraine will become the first b world beneficiary of American security aid, ahead of Afghanistan, Iraq and even Israel, the American daily said.

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