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Bloomberg: At least $488 million in sanctioned goods entered Russia from EU in 2023

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent news desk February 27, 2024 12:35 AM 2 min read
The Romanian port of Constanta on Aug. 22, 2023. (Andreea Campeanu/Getty Images)
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Russia imported “high-priority” banned goods worth 450 million euros ($488 million) originating in EU countries in the first nine months of 2023, a quarter of which came directly from Europe, Bloomberg reported on Feb. 26, citing unnamed officials familiar with the matter.

Despite extensive Western sanctions aimed at cutting off supply lines, Russia continues to obtain sanctioned goods, such as microchips, via third-party countries, fuelling Moscow's war machine.

The volume of trade in those unspecified goods between the European Union and Russia has declined since the outbreak of the all-out war, but exports of the same goods from European countries to third countries have surged, according to the EU’s internal assessments.

Bloomberg named Turkey, the UAE, Serbia, China, as well as Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia among the countries that participated in the supply to circumvent the sanctions.

EU trade data also show that some of the sanctioned goods were produced by subsidiaries and subcontractors of some European companies operating abroad, according to one of Bloomberg’s sources.

The European Union's top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said in an interview with the Kyiv Independent that the EU can’t impose sanctions on third countries.

In late January, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Russia uses dozens of critical components from abroad to produce all its missiles.

Ukraine's National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NAZK) identified around 2,500 foreign components in Russian weaponry, mostly from U.S. producers who do not sell their products to Russia directly.

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