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NYT unveils how Türkiye and Morocco help Russia bypassing sanctions

NYT unveils how Türkiye and Morocco help Russia bypassing sanctions Photo: Türkiye and Morocco help Russia bypassing sanctions (Getty Images)

Russian authorities and companies have joined forces and turned to Morocco and Türkiye to use their ports to evade sanctions against Russia, reports The New York Times.

Türkiye and Morocco help Russia evade sanctions

"Russian authorities and companies have teamed up to exploit loopholes in the bans. They tapped into networks of intermediaries, including in China, and disguised their activities through shell companies, according to leaked Russian government emails, trade documents and recordings of online conversations between Russian engineers," the article says.

Russia also turned to countries that have taken a neutral position in the war in Ukraine, such as Morocco and Türkiye, and used ports to receive goods from global technology production centers, which were then placed on other ships bound for Russia.

This process is known as transshipment. Then, prohibited technical products could be purchased from well-known suppliers and convenient e-commerce sites, such as Nag.

Soon after Russia invaded Ukraine last year, engineers from the Russian telecommunications company Convex needed to find American data transmission equipment for the country's intelligence service.

However, after Western countries imposed new trade restrictions on Russia, nothing was coming in. Convex employees soon found a solution.

While American technology supplier Cisco stopped sales to Russia on March 3, 2022, engineers from Convex easily obtained the necessary Cisco equipment through an obscure Russian e-commerce site called Nag, which circumvented international trade restrictions, by buying American equipment through a network of suppliers in China.

Russia easily buys Western electronics

For 22 months since the start of the war in Ukraine, Russia has mainly continued to obtain the technologies it needs to support its economy.

After export restrictions and corporate bans initially led to trade disruptions, Russian suppliers found loopholes and began looking for ways to circumvent them.

Almost no commercial equipment, including basic telecommunications equipment, surveillance equipment, microchips for modern computing, and drone systems, has become too difficult to acquire.

Russia bypasses sanctions

Recently, Russia signed a declaration of "counteracting" sanctions imposed by the United States, the EU, and several other countries with Iran.

Media have also found that after the start of full-scale Russian aggression through Belarus, luxury cars were imported into Russia, the export of which is prohibited due to sanctions by Western companies.

Recently, the European Union proposed criminalizing sanctions evasion within the bloc. Those who help Russia circumvent them could face up to five years in prison.