Early release of arms trading report

SLOVAKIA will release its annual report on arms trading ahead of schedule. The Economy Ministry had planned to release the report in 2007, following an EU request, but calls for wider public access to information have pushed the government to start releasing its reports much earlier.

The report will include the number of licenses issued and a categorisation of exported military material as well as the material's price, volume, and destination to which it was transported, the finance daily Hospodárske noviny wrote.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, two global non-governmental organisations, have warned Slovakia that it needs to make arms trading more transparent and give the public access to relevant information.

The organisations said that, in the case of the transport of military material, Slovakia has a license exemption if the material does not stay in Slovakia longer than seven days.

Re-exported military cargo thus only passes through customs and airport checks, which do not prevent the occurr.ence of illegal arms trading.

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