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TOPIC: russia international sanctions

FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

How Russia Is Still Dodging Sanctions — With Help From Companies Everywhere

A healthy dose of cynicism and short cuts allows parts for weapons and other technology to still make their way into Russia. Independent Russian-language media Vazhnyye Istorii traces the way both Moscow and much of the rest of the world circumvent export bans.

When Western countries imposed sanctions on Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, exporting Western technologies to Russia was effectively banned — at least, on paper.

But through a web of third parties, Russia is still finding ways to dodge the sanctions and import crucial components for weapons and other technology.

In the United States, personal sanctions prohibit American citizens and companies from doing business with specific Russian people and businesses. Other sanctions prevent them from doing business with entire industries. Secondary sanctions may be imposed on non-US companies caught violating US prohibitions.

A special permit is required for any export of high-tech products to Russia. These are only issued in exceptional circumstances, if ever. The largest manufacturers of microelectronics — Analog Devices, Texas Instruments and others — have all ceased commercial activities in Russia.

Still, products made by these companies are increasingly being found in the remains of Russian drones and missiles.

Components continue to enter Russia through a chain of intermediary firms in different countries. For example, an American company can buy them from a manufacturer, then sell them to a Chinese company, which can in turn sell them to a Russian intermediary who is not formally connected with the defense complex — who will then transfer the goods to the arms manufacturer.

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