Western microchips, crucial for modern warfare, continue to fuel Russia’s military arsenal despite sanctions, reports CNBC.
Trade data reveals that Russia imported $2.5 billion worth of semiconductor technologies in 2022, an increase from $1.8 billion in 2021. These imports are primarily sourced through intermediary countries like China.
“Russia is still being able to import all the necessary Western-produced critical components for its military. The sanctions evasion and avoidance is surprisingly brazen at the moment,” says Elina Ribakova, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
Despite sanctions, many of these dual-use items, having both civilian and military applications, are still reaching Russia. A study by the KSE Institute found more than 1,000 foreign components, primarily Western semiconductor technologies, in critical Russian military equipment.
Most of these components originate from Western nations with trade bans against Moscow, particularly its military. However, complex trade routes, items with multiple usages (both civilian and military) and global supply chains make it challenging to police these transactions.
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