US Technology a Longtime Tool for Russia Becomes a Vulnerability
Global growth slows. The fallout of the war has hobbled attempts by major economies to recover. The US economy falls into recession. Energy prices continue to rise. Russia supplies oil and gas to Europe but now faces increased competition.
Russia’s economy faces a slowdown. Its central bank chief warns that the country is likely facing a steep economic downturn. Capital controls and interest rate hikes are keeping the economy afloat.
Trade barriers go up. The government tries to protect the people from the shortage of goods by raising trade barriers. However, the measures make the products more expensive and hard to get.
Food shortages are occurring in East Africa. The drought has caused the price of wheat to increase. Supermarkets have started limiting the amount of sunflower oil they sell. This affects the supply of oil in Ukraine.
Prices of essential metals soar. Palladium, used in automotive emissions systems and mobile phones, rises as Russia exports more of the metal. Nickel, another important export from Russia, also increases.
In an interview last month, Governor Gina Raimondo said the U.S. was not seeing any systematic violation of export control regulations by any countries, including China, which allied itself with Russia before and after the invasion of Ukraine. She said companies were making independent decisions not engage with Russia, even if the country was trying very hard to circumvent the global coalition of allies which had imposed export controls.
The US government is taking strong measures to control the export of weapons to Russia. This means that there will be severe penalties for those who violate these rules. Chinese trade data shows that most companies are complying with the new regulations. As a result, imports of Russian goods into China have decreased significantly.
In order to buy foreign products, Russia uses front companies, third country distributors and civil distributors. These methods are used to bypass sanctions. Mr. Spletters’ research reveals attempts by some actors to disguise Western technology in Russian equipment, including the use of encryption devices.
The Russians were trying to conceal the fact that they were buying American-made radios. The radios were sold to the Russians as if they were Russian-made. The Russians did not want to be known as having bought American-made products.
Mr. Spleeters said the chips were not clear about who had altered them or when they were delivered to Russia. He also said the attempt to mask the chips’ origins was intentional. After the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014, the U.S. government restricted shipments of technology that could be used by Russia’s military.
Someone carefully erased the word ‘nuclear’ from the document. This suggests that someone knows about nuclear weapons.
The drone was built by American companies. The parts were assembled in America and Europe.
As Mr. Spleeters worked, he asked a Ukrainian official about the findings of Western parts powering Russia’s weapons. He was told that it was just business. It was a big business, and the people weren’t concerned or didn’t care if they knew what they’d be used for eventually. I don’t think they could know who’d use them and for what purposes.