Sanctions imposed on Russia due to the war in Ukraine are not working as they should. The country ruled by Putin was able to buy plenty of chips anyway.
Bloomberg obtained access to secret data from the Russian customs service. They show that the sanctions imposed on the country ruled by Putin do not fulfill their role. Russia was still able to order plenty of semiconductors that it could use to conduct further military operations.
Russia is buying chips in bulk
Data obtained by journalists show that last year, despite sanctions, Russia obtained chips worth approximately $1.7 billion. Although no manufacturer cooperates with them, the list includes systems from companies such as Intel, AMD, Analog Devices, Infineon Technologies, STMicroelectronics and NXP Semiconductors. The largest deliveries took place in the first half of 2023.
This shows how huge a challenge it is today to enforce sanctions imposed on such a large country. The complicated supply chain makes this almost impossible. Many of the chips came to Russia from other countries that are not subject to sanctions. These include China, Türkiye and the United Arab Emirates.
The US and the European Union are doing everything they can to block deliveries to Russia. Although this is partly a fight against windmills, data from the second half of the year show that it is having some effect. At the end of 2023, there were significantly fewer deliveries. This does not change the fact that Putin is still able to obtain components to continue the war in Ukraine, partly through a network of smugglers who work closely with the Ministry of Defense.