Espreso. Global

Finnish firms supply auto parts, trucks to Russia, bypassing sanctions — investigation

27 November, 2023 Monday
10:37

According to an investigation by Yle MOT, the Finnish company HD-Parts from Vantaa exported truck parts worth millions of euros to Russia after the Russian invasion of Ukraine

This was reported by Yle.

HD-Parts primarily exports spare parts for Swedish Volvo and Scania trucks to Russia. The company receives truck parts directly from factories in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other countries.

The outlet noted that the company has no ties with Swedish automotive companies.

However, HD-Parts categorically denies violating the sanctions rules. Lasse Lindqvist, founder and chairman of HD-Parts, said that customs checked and approved every shipment to Russia. He assured that he had all the necessary documents. At the same time, he said that at least 3/4 of HD-Parts' turnover is accounted for by Russian exports.

The outlet added that the customs did not comment on the HD-Parts case, but clarified that they conduct inspections when export declarations indicate products that may be subject to sanctions.

"The MOT editorial board reviewed the list of spare parts that HD-Parts supplied to the neighboring country and compared them with the list of sanctioned goods. The names of the HD-Parts batches largely correspond to the goods banned for import into Russia. This was also confirmed by sanctions expert Erlend Bjørtvedt, who, at Yle's request, also analyzed the company's shipments from Vantaa," the statement said.

Bjørtvedt concluded that HD-Parts may be the largest supplier of truck parts to Russia in the entire Western world.

According to Russian customs, trucks were also exported from Finland to Russia. In particular, during the war, about a dozen used Scania and Volvo trucks, as well as semi-trailers of other brands, ended up in Russia. They were owned by Idän Liikenteenvälittys IL from Lappeenranta. The value of the deliveries amounted to hundreds of thousands of euros.

Idän Liikenteenvälittys IL CEO Risto Riihimäki said that he did not violate any sanctions and supplied the vehicles to Central Asian countries.

According to customs data as of August, almost 190 trucks were exported from Finland to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. In the 10 years from 2002 to 2020, this figure was only six trucks.

Kari Liuhto, a professor specializing in Russian economics, points out that trucks are very important in war. He notes that trucks and their spare parts are important dual-use goods for Russia.

  • On November 25, Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo said that the country's leadership does not intend to negotiate with Russia on the situation on the eastern border until the Russian war in Ukraine is over.

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