Espreso. Global

Russia acquires millions in banned EU weapons tech despite sanctions

27 February, 2024 Tuesday
15:20

Officials reveal that European Union efforts to prevent Russia from obtaining restricted technologies for military use against Ukraine are falling short, with tens of millions of euros of banned goods originating from the EU itself, bypassing sanctions

Bloomberg writes about it. 

An official, speaking anonymously, disclosed that almost a quarter of the €450 million ($488 million) in high-priority items sent to Russia in the first nine months of the previous year came directly from Europe. Third countries, including Turkey, the UAE, Serbia, China, and Russia's neighbors, facilitated the rest of the trade, circumventing EU sanctions.

While the EU's direct trade with Russia in sensitive goods dropped after the war began, exports from the bloc to third countries surged to compensate, creating a concerning gap in enforcement.

Despite the EU's call for tighter export controls, the internal assessment indicates insufficient action by member states and companies, allowing some sanctioned items to flow from EU territories.

The Kyiv School of Economics reported Russia imported $8.77 billion in battlefield goods, similar to the EU's high-priority items, between January and October of the previous year.

The data also suggests the involvement of subsidiaries and subcontractors of European firms, indicating a need for increased vigilance. Major manufacturers claim compliance with sanctions, but the EU's internal assessment raises concerns about loopholes and lack of oversight.

EU rules provide exceptions for dual-use goods, but significant concerns arise as licenses for over €560 million ($607 million) were granted between February 2022 and December 2022. Exemptions don't cover exports to Russia's defense industry and sensitive sectors, emphasizing the need for stricter adherence to guidelines.

The EU's failure to curb the flow of banned technologies poses a challenge as Russian forces continue offensive actions in Ukraine.
 

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