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British company supplied $1.2 billion in electronics to Russia despite sanctions – FT

Illustrative image: NOS/Harm Kersten

According to Financial Times, a British business registered in a north London suburb, Mykines Corporation LLP, is reportedly linked to approximately $1.2bn of electronics sales to Russia since the country’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Russian records reveal that shipments sent by Mykines include semiconductors, servers, laptops, computer components, telecoms network equipment, and consumer electronics from brands such as Huawei, H3C, Intel, AMD, Apple, and Samsung.

Financial Times reports that at least $982mn of the goods listed as sent by Mykines are subject to UK export restrictions to Russia. The sale of these goods to Russia without UK authorities’ permission may breach its sanctions, raising questions about the effectiveness of attempts to limit Russia’s access to critical technologies.

Mykines has been active in Russia before the invasion, but its business with the country significantly increased after the war’s onset, according to Financial Times. Most of the 10,600 batches of goods are listed as having been sent to Marsala, a Moscow-based company with strong links to Merlion, a large computing and electronics distributor within Russia. While most goods appear to be civilian in nature, Marsala has declared Microcontract, a company that owns a joint venture with Novgorod State University Engineering Center, as one of its counterparties. The center’s research areas include aviation, drones, microelectronics, sensors, and industrial electronics.

Financial Times also notes that the UK government emphasized that all businesses registered in the UK must comply with the Russia sanctions regime and that potential breaches are taken seriously. The trade raises questions about the use of British secrecy jurisdictions. In previous years, Mykines passed its profits directly to two entities in the British Virgin Islands whose ownership is unknown.

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