Russia imported €450 million worth of sanctioned goods from the EU in 2023 – Bloomberg

In the first nine months of 2023, sanctioned products worth 450 million euros were imported from the European Union to Russia, with a quarter coming straight from EU member states, demonstrating that the sanctions regime had flaws.

This was reported by Bloomberg, citing informed European officials.

According to internal EU data, direct official trade in most sanctioned products between the EU and Russia has decreased since the start of Russia’s all-out war in Ukraine, while exports to third nations have surged dramatically.

Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Serbia, and China were among nations who helped Russia with imports of goods circumventing EU sanctions, as well as former Soviet states neighboring Russia such as Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, Bloomberg wrote.

According to the article, sanctioned products continue to reach the Russian Federation through loopholes in the EU sanctions framework. Bloomberg’s interlocutors believe that member states and companies are consciously or unconsciously doing too little to stop trade with the aggressor country.

EU records also suggest that subsidiaries and subcontractors of some European enterprises operating overseas manufacture sanctioned goods and ship them to Russia via middlemen.

At the same time, EU regulations provide for some exclusions for exports of dual-use commodities to Russia for humanitarian, public health, natural disaster, and medical purposes.

According to Bloomberg statistics, from the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to December 2023, a number of EU member states provided permits for such exports totaling more than 560 million euros and denied more than 2 billion.

Earlier, it was also reported that British equipment and machinery worth hundreds of millions of pounds continue to enter Russia through the countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia, including Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, and Uzbekistan.

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