Arms trade report published

THE SLOVAK Economy Ministry has published its first-ever report on the country's arms trade.

According to the report for 2004, Slovak licensed entities exported military material worth Sk2.5 billion (€66.8 million), largely to EU member states, but also to the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa.

The main export item consisted of spare parts, the Hospodárske noviny daily reported, while functional guns were traded to a lesser extent.

According to observers, however, the report has several shortcomings.

Ingrid Králová, a spokeswoman for Amnesty International, said the report should categorize the material exported.

"The report does not say specifically what was exported to a given state and in what amount. It is therefore impossible to find out whether banned material was exported to states that have an embargo on a specific type of material [such as Israel, Iraq, China, Algeria, and India]," Králová said.

The Economy Ministry has promised to include the categorization in its 2005 arms report.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
The
Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.

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