Sweden Lifted Arms Ban on Turkiye

Sweden Lifted Arms Ban on Turkiye

Swedish Inspectorate of Strategic Products (ISP) announced that all arms bans for Turkiye are lifted. ISP is a government agency that works with issues related to Sweden’s defence, security or foreign policy.

The agency that works with control and compliance of defence material and dual-use products announced the decision on September 30, 2022.

The agency announced that Sweden granted permission for follow-on deliveries of military equipment to Turkiye.

ISP reports quarterly granted export permits for sales. The report states which recipient countries and material categories the permit refers. Concerning commercial and foreign secrecy, it is unclear which Swedish defence industry companies are involved or which specific products are in question. The report states permitted military equipment within the categories ML11 (electronic equipment), ML21 (software), and ML22 (technical assistance).

In addition to the material categories that appeared as actual exports, authorisations have been granted for the categories that include “target acquisition, targeting, ranging, surveillance or tracking systems; detection, data fusion, recognition or identification equipment and sensor integration equipment”, “training equipment” and “protective or decontamination equipment, specially designed or modified for military use”.

Report on munitions for quarter 3, 2022 stated granted export permits for sales broken down by country and main areas of the munitions list. From the summary relating to the third quarter of 2022, it appears that permission has been granted for exports to Turkiye. As ISP has previously stated that export permits regarding Turkiye have been revoked.

ISP announced in October 2019 that all then valid export permits to export military equipment to Turkiye had been revoked. From 2019 until now, no new export permits have been granted. Applications received by ISP are still reviewed on a case-by-case basis. There is no arms embargo against Turkiye.

Following Russia’s attack on Ukraine in February, the Swedish government decided to apply to NATO for membership. NATO allies signed the accession protocol that enables Swedish membership in NATO on July 5, 2022,

Turkiye demanded Sweden lift previous embargoes. Sweden, in response, declared that the Swedish membership in NATO could change the conditions for exporting military equipment within national regulations. Sweden underlined that the country’s application for membership in NATO significantly strengthens the defence and security policy reasons for granting the export of military equipment to other member states, including Turkiye.

Concerning the changed defence and security policy circumstances, ISP has, after an overall assessment, decided to grant a permit for follow-on deliveries from the Swedish defence industry to Turkiye.

According to reports, between 2014-2018, the actual military equipment exports to Turkiye was

Year MSEK Category of munitions

2018 299 Other munitions only

2017 71 Of which SEK 0.1 million consisted of munitions for combat

2016 89 Of which SEK 0.1 million consisted of munitions for combat

2015 35 Of which SEK 7 million was made up of military equipment for combat

2014 0.5 Of which SEK 0.2 million consisted of munitions for combat

In 2019, no export permits concerning military equipment to Turkiye had been granted.

No new export deals to Turkiye have been approved since April 2017.