Despite sanctions: Russia received millions of dollars worth of Western aircraft parts during the war – NYT

Anastasia Pechenyuk16:48, 15.05.23

These shipments were made possible by sanctions circumvention schemes involving shell buyers.

Thanks to sanctions circumvention schemes, during the full-scale war in Ukraine, millions of dollars worth of parts from Boeing, Airbus and other companies came to Russia. US authorities have detained a Russian and his partner in a case to circumvent sanctions, writes The New York Times.

It appears from Russian customs documents that thousands of shipments of aircraft parts were successfully sent to Russia from the United States last year. The recipients were, among other things, sub-sanctioned airlines: Aeroflot, Rossiya, Pobeda, Ural, UTair, S7 Airlines. 

More than 5,000 deliveries to Russia are known, which included a variety of aircraft parts – from simple propellers to engines worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

In total, over the eight months of 2022, US-made aircraft parts worth $14.4 million were sent to Russia. The majority ($8.9 million worth of parts) are products from the American aircraft manufacturer Boeing, which were sold through third parties. Parts for Airbus aircraft were also supplied. Experts note that Boeing or Airbus were not necessarily to blame for the fact that the parts got to Russia in circumvention of sanctions.

These shipments were made possible by illegal sanctions circumvention schemes involving shell buyers. Most of the production was sent through countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, China and the Maldives. 

Behind one of these schemes was a Russian citizen Oleg Patsulya, who lives near Miami. According to investigators, he could help the Russians bypass global sanctions through a network of companies based in Florida, Turkey and Russia. It is assumed that Patsulya himself contacted Russian airlines with an offer to help.

“In the light of the sanctions imposed against the Russian Federation, we are successfully solving the emerging problems,” he argued in a letter to the Russians.

On Thursday Patsula and his business partner were arrested. They are charged with violating US export controls and money laundering. 

(C)UNIAN 2023

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