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US and Europe continue importing Russian nuclear products despite sanctions – Economic Times

Russian RS-28 Sarmat (NATO reporting name SS-X-30) is a Russian liquid-fueled, MIRV-equipped, superheavy thermonuclear armed intercontinental ballistic missile, in development by the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau since 2009. It is intended to replace the old R-36M missile (SS-18 Satan). (Photo: video capture from the Russian Ministry of Defense / TASS. Caption: Wikipedia)
Russian RS-28 Sarmat (NATO reporting name SS-X-30) is a Russian liquid-fueled, MIRV-equipped, superheavy thermonuclear armed intercontinental ballistic missile, in development by the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau since 2009. It is intended to replace the old R-36M missile (SS-18 Satan). (Photo: video capture from the Russian Ministry of Defense / TASS. Caption: Wikipedia)
US and Europe continue importing Russian nuclear products despite sanctions – Economic Times

The United States and European nations have persisted in importing nuclear fuel and compounds from Russia, even in the face of sanctions imposed on Moscow due to its invasion of Ukraine. This trade practice has resulted in substantial revenue – amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars – for Rosatom, the state-owned energy corporation of Russia, Economic Times writes.

Last year, Russia supplied approximately 12% of uranium utilized by the US nuclear industry, while Europe sourced around 17% of its uranium from Russia in 2022. Although these imports primarily fuel civilian reactors, this dependence on Russian nuclear materials could potentially leave the US and its allies vulnerable to energy shortages if Russian President Vladimir Putin decides to halt supplies. This concern is expected to escalate as these nations endeavor to ramp up emissions-free electricity production to combat the challenges of climate change.

Trade data and experts reveal that Russia managed to sell roughly $1.7 billion worth of nuclear products to American and European firms. These transactions unfolded amidst the backdrop of robust sanctions imposed by the West on Moscow, which have restricted the import of traditional Russian commodities such as oil, gas, vodka, and caviar, in response to the 2022 full-scale invasion against Ukraine.

The West has exhibited a reluctance to target Russia’s nuclear exports, primarily due to their crucial role in sustaining operational reactors, ET writes.

Ukrainian officials have made fervent appeals to global leaders to sanction Rosatom as a means to sever one of Moscow’s significant financial lifelines and to hold Putin accountable for initiating the invasion.

“Ukraine does not understand why sanctions have not yet been introduced against Rosatom and its leadership,” Zelenskyy said in May, “when representatives of this company continue to occupy Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant and put our general security at risk.”

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