19 January 2018, Friday, 18:43

British parliament: London was selling weapons to Minsk


Great Britain has sold weapons to repressive regimes for the total amount of £12.3 billion.

The information comes from the report by the Committee for control over the exports of arms of the British parliament, prepared on the basis of an expertise.

According to this document, equipment and weapons were sold to Belarus, Iran, China, Sri Lanka and a number of other countries from the list of the states, the authorities of which are accused of repressions against their own populations.

At least three contracts with the Syrian government were reported and 57 with Argentina, which is not on the list of violators, but is in confrontation with Great Britain because of Falkland Islands, The Independent reports.

Earlier the British government claimed that it would not issue licenses for the export of goods, “which could be used for internal repressions” or “may provoke or prolong regional or internal conflicts”. But, despite that, national companies signed thousands contracts. Most of them with China. Great Britain concluded over 1500 agreements with this country for the total amount of £1.8 billion. It is the matter of supplies of cryptographic equipment, means of communication, flak jackets and weapons.

Out of the 27 countries that are on the list, British companies do not have contracts only with North Korea and South Sudan, the Russia Today TV channel reports.

In August last year London’s Channel 4 News confirmed the information that Great Britain sold to official Minsk weapons for the total amount of almost 3 million pounds.

“Belarus is the only country in Europe, where death penalty is still used, political opponents are sent to prisons, the detained are tortured and shameful political trials are held. This gives the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Kingdom to put it in the group of countries, the state of democracy and human rights in which causes concern.

However, Great Britain is the second country in the world in terms of the amount of investments in Belarus. It is one of Minsk’s most important trading partners, British arms exports to Belarus are measured in millions pounds. It became known that Belarusian officers were invited to Great Britain for military preparations in 2013”, - the TV channel previously reported.

The head of the parliamentary committee for arms exports control John Stanley criticized the sale of weapons to authoritarian and dictatorial regimes.

“The government must admit the existence of the initial contradiction between the promotion of arms exports to authoritarian regimes and the simultaneous critique of the violations of human rights in these countries. However, it keeps stating that such actions “mutually support each other”, - he stated.