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Reuters: Ukraine allegedly finding more Chinese components in Russian weapons

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 14, 2023 8:30 PM 2 min read
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Ukraine has allegedly been finding an increasing number of components originating from China in Russian weapons recovered on the battlefield, Reuters reported on April 14.

Citing a senior adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky's office, Reuters wrote that there has been a noticeable shift away from Russia's use of western-made electronics to Chinese-made ones.

Vladyslav Vlasiuk, who advises the president's chief of staff on sanctions policy, revealed that Ukraine has successfully identified certain Chinese manufacturers and suppliers in Russian weapons. Ukraine has apparently passed this information on to its western allies.

Reuters added that they have not been able to independently verify any of the information provided by Vlasiuk.

China's Foreign Minister Qin Gang said on April 14 that his country wouldn't sell weaponry to either side of the Russia-Ukraine war.

"Regarding the export of military items, China adopts a prudent and responsible attitude," Qin added, as cited by AP.

According to the publication, Qin is the highest-level Chinese official to make such a straightforward statement regarding his country's arms supply to Russia.

In recent months, U.S. officials have sounded the alarm that China is considering sending lethal aid to Russia for its war against Ukraine, while Beijing has denied the allegations.

On April 5, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said such a move would be a "historic mistake with profound implications," adding there was no evidence of any weaponry supply at that moment.

Electronics, such as microchips or drones, do not count as lethal aid. However, they can be used to Russia's benefit on the battlefield.

The European Council announced on Feb. 25 the 10th package of sanctions against Russia which included "further export bans on critical technology and industrial goods, such as electronics, specialized vehicles, machine parts, spare parts for trucks and jet engines, as well as goods for the construction sector, which can be directed to Russia's military, such as antennas or cranes."

However, drone sales through unofficial channels and Russian-allied nations make the official sale figures much lower than the total number of technology sent to Russia.

"We see that there a lot of examples of third countries continuing, willingly or not, to support sanctions circumvention," Vlasiuk said, as quoted by Reuters.

Timothy Ash: Is China serious about peace?
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in the op-ed section are those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the views of the Kyiv Independent. Over the past month, we have seen a sudden, and somewhat surprising, volte-face by China in terms of its approach to Russia’s
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