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Russia Imports $500M in Foreign-Made Microchips So Far in 2023 – Vyorstka

Russia imported more than $502 million worth of foreign-made microchips in the first six months of 2023 despite U.S. and EU sanctions, the independent news website Vyorstka reported Monday, citing classified customs data.

Since launching its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russia has been slapped with Western export restrictions on advanced semiconductors and other goods that can be re-purposed for military use, including microchips used in missiles and drones. 

Eleven out of the 25 biggest Russian importers of dual-purpose foreign chips — such as those produced by Analog Devices, Infineon and Texas Instruments — directly supply Russia’s defense industry, according to Vyorstka’s investigation.

At least four of the listed companies have continued chip re-exports into Russia despite being under U.S. sanctions.

Overall, Vyorstka notes that “hundreds” of companies are involved in the supply of dual-use chips — mostly from China and Hong Kong — into Russia.

In addition to microchips, Vyorstka’s analysis notes that Western sanctions failed to block the re-export of $389 million worth of iPhones since Feb. 25, when the U.S. imposed an export ban to Russia on smartphones worth more than $300. 

“Our investigation has shown that practically anything can be imported into Russia from anywhere in the world, from a dual-use chip to a turbojet engine for an Airbus,” the outlet said.

“Western companies are involved in schemes through third countries, while the Russian authorities safely circumvent European and American sanctions,” it added.

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