French-made electronics still power the Russian rockets that hit Ukrainian cities. The French company Radiall SA supplied electronic switches for the Russian satellite company Information Satellite Systems (JSC Academician M. F. Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems).
It uses them to improve the operation of the GLONASS and Gonets-M navigation and satellite communications systems, which are crucial for the Russian army and used for long-range cruise guided missiles that Russia launches at Ukraine.
The US has sanctioned the Russian company, Information Satellite Systems. It was not under the European Union’s sanctions. The EU allows it to import switches that the company later uses in the microchips of the rockets’ onboard control systems. The French company Radiall SA supplies the switches, according to media reports.
The Russian military uses GLONASS in drone and missile attacks targeting Ukrainian cities and Ukrainian army positions at the frontlines.
According to the US, Information Satellite Systems implements Russia’s state defense order and builds satellites to strengthen the Russian army’s capabilities. The US sanctions listings state that the Reshetnev satellite company supports Russian government space systems, which the Russian military uses in its war against Ukraine.
The EU has not imposed sanctions against the Russian company Reshetnev ISS. This means that European firms can freely supply Russians with spare parts to kill Ukrainians. The EU should add all companies involved in military or dual-use technologies and cooperating with the Russian army to the sanctions list.
Some European companies have often taken advantage of the fact that many Russian military enterprises did not fall under sanctions. But doing business as usual means increasing the threat of dragging the war on the EU soil.
Another Moscow’s strategy is to use intermediaries based in Turkey, China, the UAE, Hong Kong, or elsewhere. This makes it easier to avoid appearing as an official supplier to the Russian army and to obtain French export authorizations.
The Western sanctions drain the Russian economy in the long run. But by using third countries to evade sanctions, the Kremlin reduced their impact.
In order to prevent Russian missiles from attacking Ukrainian cities and giving the Russian invading army an advantage at the battlefield in the decisive moments of the war, it is crucial to prevent all Western technology of military or dual use from entering Russia.