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US cracks down on Chinese and Russian suppliers of drone components to Russia

US imposed trade restrictions on companies that supplied drone components to Russia.
drone missiles
Orlan-10 drone on display in 2022. Photo: Wikipedia
US cracks down on Chinese and Russian suppliers of drone components to Russia

On 25 September, the US Commerce Department imposed new trade restrictions on 11 Chinese and five Russian companies, accusing some of them of supplying components for the production of drones for the Russian Armed Forces, according to Reuters.

The US Commerce Department, which oversees export policy, added a total of 28 companies, including some Finnish and German companies, to a trade blacklist, making it harder for US suppliers to ship them technology that can be used by the Russian Army in its war against Ukraine, according to Reuters.

Nine companies on the blacklist, including China’s Asia Pacific Links Ltd. and Russia’s SMT-iLogic, allegedly supplied components to the sanctioned Russian Special Technology Center for drone parts for Russian military intelligence (GRU).

How I survived a Russian kamikaze drone attack on Kyiv

The Chinese company Asia Pacific Links Ltd. was previously featured in a journalistic investigation that revealed its role in supplying components for Russian Orlan-10 reconnaissance drones, Ukrainska Pravda reported.

Furthermore, Asia Pacific Links Ltd. was one of the key suppliers of spare parts to Russia needed to produce Russian drones. Along with the Russian company SMT iLogic, it was already subject to the previous round of US sanctions in May 2023.

EU issues guidance to prevent evasion of sanctions imposed on Russia

The US government sanctioned six other Chinese companies, accusing them of allegedly purchasing parts needed to produce drones in Iran used by Russian forces to strike targets in Ukraine.

“We will not hesitate to take swift and meaningful action against those who continue to supply and support Putin’s illegal and immoral war against Ukraine,” Alan Estevez, the head of the US Commerce Department’s export controls said.

Last week, the US Treasury Department announced sanctions against a network of companies from Iran, China, Russia, and Türkiye that facilitated the smuggling of components needed to produce Iranian aircraft and drones.

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