UK Selling Weapons Licenses to Russia

It looks like hypocrisy over weapons deals with Russia isn’t solely a French problem. Despite outward criticism of other European countries for arms deals with Russia during its aggression, it turns out that the U.K. has continued issuing weapons licenses covering sniper rifles, components for air-to-air missiles, anti-aircraft guns, combat helicopters, depth charges, and rocket launchers. That report, from the cross-party Commons Committees on Arms Export Controls, did acknowledge that 31 U.K. licenses had been halted, but a total of 251 licenses to export those items remained. Back in March, then-Foreign Secretary William Hague declared, “The U.K. will now, with immediate effect, suspend all extant licenses and application processing for licenses for direct export to Russia for military and dual-use items destined for units of the Russian armed forces or other state agencies which could be or are being deployed against Ukraine.” Now, the prime minister’s office is saying that the remaining licenses are for “commercial use” and “non-military legitimate reasons.”