Russia Continues to Receive Western Military Technology Despite Sanctions | Atalayar

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it took only minutes for US President Joe Biden to announce sanctions against Russia, a series of trade restrictions aimed, among other things, at “semiconductors, telecommunications, encryption security, lasers and sensors.” efforts to prevent Moscow’s access to advanced technology that could be used to encircle Kyiv. The EU didn’t need much time; a few days before the fateful February 24, she prepared and approved the first series of sanctions against Russia. However, six months later the economic isolation of the Kremlin does not appear to be fully effective.

According to experts, Russia’s economic performance does not reflect the real impact of countless rounds of sanctions imposed by Washington and Brussels after the invasion. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates a 6% contraction in the country’s economy, compared with earlier forecasts that predict a much bleaker outlook for Putin. The Russian president has even mocked the trade restrictions imposed on him by the West, although some analysts interpret this as a collapse of Russian industry caused by restrictions on the import of electronic components. But these materials keep coming.

AP/ALEXANDER ZEMLYANICHENKO – Tanks at the Russian-Belarusian exercises “Union of Courage-2022” at the Obuz-Lesnovsky training ground in Belarus, Saturday, February 19, 2022

According to a survey conducted by Reuters with the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a British defense think tank based in London, and Russian media outlet iStories, electronic components made in the West continued to cross the border to Moscow. This is reflected in Russian weapons salvaged from the battlefield by Ukrainian troops, which the news agency revealed contained US-made microcontrollers, programmable microcircuits and signal processors. These parts are essential for their operation.

This discovery provoked a reaction from the respective companies. Companies such as Texas Instruments Inc, Altera owned by Intel Corp, Xilinx owned by Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD), Maxim Integrated Products Inc acquired last year by Analog Devices Inc, and Cypress Semiconductor owned by German Infineon AG, saw how their products are integrated into the weapons used by the Russian army. Commonly used chips have also been found inside weapons that are standard products, also made by Western companies and sometimes not subject to sanctions.

Trade in computer equipment between the West and Moscow has not stopped, according to a Reuters poll. From February 24, the day of the invasion, to the end of May, at least 15,000 batches of electronic components were sent to Russia from European and American factories. Those shipments included microprocessors, programmable chips, data storage devices and other items, according to Russian customs records. The sanctions go unheeded, partly because they don’t cover all components and, more importantly, because some suppliers continue to trade despite the restrictions.

Vladimir Putin
KREMLIN/MIKHAIL METZEL via AP – The Russian president on Tuesday again demanded assurances from the United States and its allies that NATO would not expand eastward, blaming the West for continued tensions in Europe.

Some of the documents were already circulating in Russia before the invasion, say companies such as Texas Instrument and Infineon, which were identified by the investigation. Customs records seen by Reuters show that some of these items were shipped before the invasion. third-party suppliers for many Russian military companies or other companies associated with the defense industry, such as JSC VOMZ, JSC NPK Uralvagonzavod and JSC Radiopriborsnab, as well as the state arms giant Rostec. Russia relies on Western technology for its military industry; indeed, the country has a long history of smuggling parts from the United States.

Rostec, whose CEO oligarch Sergei Chemezov worked with Putin in the KGB, is seen as “cornerstone” of the industrial, technological and defense sectors of Russia, and was included in the sanctions imposed by the United States and the EU. The company does not produce many electronic components, therefore it depends on foreign imports, but it carefully controls the purchased products, tests and certifies them for safety.