The French newspaper Le Monde said in an investigation that Russia has succeeded in overcoming many of the obstacles created by Western sanctions on it since the outbreak of the war on Ukraine, by cooperating with economic fronts and intermediary companies spread in countries surrounding Russia, including Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates.
Through this approach, Russia was able to import many materials that ensured its continued supply of Western technology essential to its industries, especially military ones.
Le Monde stated that the official figures of European foreign trade confirm beyond any doubt the effectiveness of this method in serving Russian interests, as trade exchanges between Europe and the countries surrounding Russia - unusually - recorded record numbers in 2022, just as trade between those countries and Russia recorded very large numbers in the same year.
The French newspaper quoted a European diplomat as saying that European exports of washing machines to Kazakhstan, for example, have risen since the start of the war from 60% to 80%, without European countries having any evidence to prove the fate of those washing machines, and whether they remained in Kazakhstan or moved to another country that may be Russia?
European sources confirm that many components of electronic devices such as refrigerators, washing machines and mobile phones can be used in military industries, especially those related to missile systems, smart missiles, radars, and drones.
Before the war, the Russian military industry relied heavily on Western technologies that it could not produce, and its source was mainly the United States, the Netherlands, Taiwan and South Korea, which was no longer possible after the outbreak of war on Ukraine.
Le Monde quoted Vladislav Vlasyuk, who is in charge of sanctions in the administration of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, as saying that there are no goods that the Russian authorities can neglect, as even modest goods are keen to import, including electronic cigarettes, some of whose components are used in the manufacture of the battery of the Russian drone "Kamikaze Lancet".
According to a member of the expert committee tasked with studying the components of weapons seized from Russian forces in the field, Russia's import of dual-use goods is a real problem, referring to the fact that Ukrainians and foreign experts found evidence of the use of components of European household appliances in Russian weapons found during battles.
Le Monde explained that China, in turn, supplies Russia with parts used in the drone industries, especially those associated with batteries and cameras, as Moscow gets what it wants from Da Jiang Innovations Science and Technology, a Chinese company famous for the drone industry, which was sanctioned by the United States in 2021 for contributing to tightening control over Uyghur Muslims.
Ukraine calls on its Western allies to tighten sanctions on Russia so as not to strengthen its military arsenal, and calls on them to work to reduce Russia's incomes by reducing the price of a barrel of oil, so that Moscow cannot continue its war with the assurance that its financial treasury is full.