Weapons exports with Middle East stopped
Sweden has stopped its weapons exports to three countries in the Middle East and North Africa, due to the unrest over the past few months, according to Swedish Radio News. Which three countries, the Swedish Agency for Non-Proliferation and Exports Control does not want to say.
There were deliveries planned, but the permission to export to these countries have been withdrawn, according to the agency's general director Andreas Ekman Duse. Asked what type of deliveries it concerned, Ekman Duse answered "war equipment for combat". He added, somewhat cryptic "nothing that could be used against the own population, but against a possible attacker."
70% of the Swedish arms exports go to countries in the EU or to South Africa and the US. Last year, the weapons export to the Middle East amounted to 173 million US dollars, 127 million of which went to the United Arab Emirate. Among others, Sweden sells airborne early warning radar system to the UAE.
Also on Wednesday, the Swedish state owned mining company LKAB announced that, for the time being, it will halt its export of iron ore products to Libya. "There is a force majeure-kind of situation. The customer cannot receive a delivery and as the insurance companies have raise the premium, the shipping companies do not want to go there," Markus Petäjäniemi, marketing manager at LKAB told the online business site Realtid.se