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NYT: 'Surge' in electronic components sent to Russia via Armenia, Kazakhstan
According to the New York Times, senior tax and trade officials from the U.S. and the European Union noticed a "surge" in chips and other electronic components sent to Russia that were "deemed as critical to the development of weapons, including Russian cruise missiles that have struck Ukraine."
The components are being sent to Russia through Armenia, Kazakhstan, and other countries, the New York Times reported on April 18.
Heavy sanctions were imposed on Russia following the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine to prevent such technology from being used on the battlefield.
The European Council announced on Feb. 25 its tenth 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, electronic component sales through unofficial channels and Russian-allied nations make the official sale figures much lower than the total number of technology sent to Russia.
In late January 2023, a Dutch investigation revealed that millions of microchips made by Dutch companies had reportedly ended up in Russia since Feb. 24, 2022.
The investigation showed a “clear pattern” of a small group of Chinese companies obtaining Dutch chips and exporting them to Russia month after month.
The companies’ spokespeople denied wrongdoing and claimed they don’t do business with Russia, adding that even if their customers are not allowed to re-sell chips, they are powerless if chips end up in Russia through parallel trade.
On April 14, Reuters reported that Ukraine was allegedly finding more electronic components originating from China in Russian weapons recovered on the battlefield, citing a senior adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky's office.