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Russia evades sanctions importing Western weapons tech through China

Russia evades sanctions importing Western weapons tech through China Kalibr cruise missile

Russia is taking advantage of loopholes in export controls and buying large quantities of technology from the West to use in its war against Ukraine. Much of this material is being transported through China, as Newsweek reports.

Over 60% of imported components used in Russian weaponry come from US companies.

An analysis by the KSE Institute of the Kyiv School of Economics reveals that Russia imported military-related components worth $20.3 billion between March and December of last year.

US-based companies accounted for 64% of dual-use goods purchased by Russia in 2022. Overall, Russia acquired technologies produced by 155 companies based in the US, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Analysts also said that the majority of dual-use goods imported by Russia from China are actually manufactured in the US and Europe.

Ukrainian experts have identified 1,057 foreign components in 58 different units of Russian military equipment. Microchips and processors make up nearly half of all imports, but Russia also imports numerous other goods used in navigation, communication systems, and other components.

Russia evades sanctions importing Western weapons tech through China

Imported microchips, processors, memory devices, transistors, DC converters, and other components have been found in four types of Russian-produced missiles: Kh-59, Kh-101, Kalibr, and Iskander-K. Imported components were also discovered in seven different types of UAVs, including the Russian Orlan-10 and the Iranian Shahed-131/136.

Components produced by five American companies - namely Analog Devices, Texas Instruments, Microchip Technology, Intel Corporation, and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) - account for 52% of the technological imports identified in Russian weapons systems. Russia has also imported critical components from 18 other countries in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

Russia bypassing sanctions

Despite a series of sanction packages, Russia continues to procure necessary components from the US and European countries. According to the White House, at the beginning of this year, Russia could import certain key categories of electronics at pre-war levels.

To counteract this tendency, the EU has decided to limit the ability of other countries to assist Russia in evading sanctions. These intentions are expected to be reflected in the 11th EU sanctions package.