By Natalya @Adobe Stock

Takayuki Tanaka and Yusuke Hinata NikkaiAsia report that documents show a company in Shenzhen is being used to evade U.S. and U.K. sanctions. They write:

A Russian arms maker is importing components for precision instruments made in Japan and Taiwan essential to tank production as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, Nikkei has learned.

According to information obtained by Nikkei, a person connected to the government of Belarus, an ally of Russia, set up a company in China after February 2022, when the full-scale invasion began, and the Russian arms maker has continued to import parts via the company. The information reveals that sanctions aimed at Russia’s munitions industry are not functioning effectively, due to trades through a third country. U.S. and British authorities are aware of the situation and are expected to tighten the sanctions.

The information obtained by Belpol, an exiled Belarus opposition organization based outside the country, from collaborators working at arms companies in the country, include contracts, transaction records and payments via financial institutions, involving Russian, Belarusian, Chinese and other companies.

It shows that a person linked to Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko’s government founded Shenzhen 5G High-Tech Innovation in China’s Guangdong province in 2022 and the company started to procure precision instrument parts for motors, sensors and other equipment needed to make tanks and other weapons. […]

With U.S. and British authorities informed recently that Shenzhen 5G has been used to bypass sanctions, the company could be subject to restrictions soon. But as Russia is seen as certain to set up another dummy company in a third country, it will be extremely difficult to shut down all supply routes for restricted high-tech goods.

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