Tactics Institute for Security and Counter Terrorism is proud to present its second major report. Titled UAE/KSA Opportunism, Captive States & the Arms Trade in South-Eastern Europe, the report outlines the changing relationship between the EU and Balkans, highlighting the manufacture and sale of arms in the region. Powerful Gulf Middle Eastern states, engaged in proxy wars, have become the region's leading weapons customers.
In 2017 the UAE emerged as the single most crucial contractor for the Serbian defence industry in terms of exports, with a net value of contracts worth $138 million for that year alone, while Saudi Arabia was in third place, with contracts worth an estimated $62 million. EU isolation has created a dangerous power vacuum in Balkans and Eastern Europe that has been filled by Saudi Arabia and the UAE as well as China and Russia.
The report analyses the drivers of the change in policy towards the Balkans, including internal EU fatigue, divergent member-state interests, Brexit, and a French Veto on EU enlargement. These factors have called into question "any attempt to align the region's industrial interests with those of an elusive greater community," throwing the prospect of NATO/EU expansion along with the process of economic, social, political, and military transformation into reverse.
The contributors to the report are:
– Brigadier-General Metodi Hadji-Janev, Senior military analyst
– Michal Vit, Assistant Professor at the Metropolitan University of Prague and Visiting Professor at South East European University
– Ivan Fischer, Foreign policy expert
– Vojkan Kostic, Investigative journalist
– Aleksandar Srbinovski, Journalist
– Thomas Charles, Director, Tactics Institute
The authors warn that many Balkan weapons end up in Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Eritrea, and other conflict zones – before finding their way to organised criminal groups and terrorists operating across Europe in the reuse-recycle flow from the Balkans to Europe.
The full report can be downloaded below.
Read the press release on the report here.
Read Tactics Institute's 2019 report on Islamist radicalisation in the Balkans here.