Kazakhstan to check information about breaching of sanctions

Senior news correspondent
So far, there are no companies in Kazakhstan affected by secondary sanctions / Press service of Kazakhstan’s MFA

According to Aybek Smadiyarov, the official spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, the country doesn’t want to facilitate any attempts to breach the international sanction regimes. However, Bloomberg reported that Russia is successfully breaching the sanctions by importing semiconductors and other technologies it needs for the war on Ukraine via third-party countries including Kazakhstan, Turkey and the UAE.

During a press briefing in the MFA, journalists asked Smadiyarov if he was aware of such facts. In response, the official said that the ministry has to check this information first.

«As we said before, we have specialists who carefully examine such facts. Kazakhstan won’t let itself be used as a platform for evasion of sanctions. So far, there are no companies in Kazakhstan that would have been affected by secondary sanctions. We need to check this information,» said Smadiyarov.

According to Bloomberg, Russian import of dual-use technologies has risen from zero to several million dollars since the start of the war in Ukraine. For example, before the war, Kazakhstan’s export of semiconductors was about $12,000. In contrast, the country sent Russia $3.7 million worth of semiconductors in 2022.

In September 2022, Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tleuberdi said that Kazakhstan would keep in touch with the European Commission and the U.S. government in order to avoid secondary sanctions.

On February 21, 2023, the European Union extended the sanctions it imposed on Russia due to its full-scale invasion of Ukraine to February 24, 2024. This decision has been made because there are no signs that Russia wants to stop the war.

In general, the E.U. has rolled out nine packages of sanctions against Russia. The 10th package will be adopted, once all member-states give their consent to do so. The ninth package was adopted in December 2022. At the time, the E.U. put strict restrictions on exports of dual-use goods and technologies, including electronics, IT equipment, chemicals, nerve agents, unmanned aerial vehicles, night vision goggles and radio navigation equipment.

These sanctions have also hit Russian producers of weapons and military equipment, along with about 200 individuals and four TV channels. The ninth package of sanctions by the E.U., however, has a waiver for those individuals who were involved in trade with fertilizers, food products and agricultural goods long before the war in order to protect the industry from collapsing.  

The U.K. has also announced new sanctions against Russia due to the war in Ukraine. These sanctions have targeted 92 individuals, plus Rostec State Corporation and Almaz-Antey Corporation, the two major defense companies in Russia.

The document also prohibits exports of any goods that may contribute to Russian military efforts in Ukraine.

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