Chinese firm Quzhou Nova has purchased at least 3,220 tonnes of copper alloy ingots worth $7.4 million from the Debaltseve plant.
A Chinese company has purchased at least $7.4 million worth of copper alloy ingots from a plant in the Russian-occupied region of Ukraine subject to Western sanctions.
The customs information, obtained from one commercial trade data provider and verified with two others, provides some of the first evidence of Chinese trade with Russia-occupied regions of Ukraine since the start of the war on 24 February 2022.
According to the data, the Chinese firm Quzhou Nova purchased at least 3,220 tonnes of copper alloy ingots worth a total of $7.4 million from the Debaltseve Metallurgical Engineering Plant between 8 October 2022 and 24 March 2023.
The plant is located in Donetsk Oblast in eastern Ukraine, near the border with Luhansk Oblast. Quzhou Nova, a trading and manufacturing company based in Quzhou in the eastern province of Zhejiang, told Reuters that it has no import or export operations related to the trade in copper bullion.
As noted, China has not imposed any restrictions on trade with Russia, but the United States has threatened to blacklist companies around the world for violating its sanctions and warned Beijing against supplying Moscow with goods prohibited by US export regulations.
As a reminder, China has officially denied supplying arms to Russia. Earlier, the media reported that leaked Pentagon documents stated that at the beginning of the year, China decided to supply lethal weapons to Russia. Beijing planned to disguise military equipment for Russia as civilian items. But so far, the US sees no signs of such assistance being provided.