U.S. says sanctions force Russia to use electrical parts in military equipment

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U.S.-led sanctions have forced Russia to use computer chips in dishwashers and refrigerators in some military equipment, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on Wednesday.

“We got reports from the Ukrainians that when they found Russian military equipment on the ground, it was full of semiconductors that they had taken from dishwashers and refrigerators,” Raimondo said at a Senate hearing, noting that she Recently met with the Prime Minister of Ukraine.

According to Raimondo, U.S. technology exports to Russia have fallen by nearly 70 percent since sanctions began in late February. Raimondo’s department oversees export controls that form an important part of the sanctions program. Three dozen other countries have adopted similar export bans, which also apply to Belarus.

“Our approach is to deny Russian technology that would impair their ability to continue military operations. That’s exactly what we’re doing,” she said in response to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (DN.H.) on the impact of export controls. said when asked.

Computer chip industry begins to stop supplying Russia in response to U.S. sanctions

Commerce Department spokesman Robyn Patterson said the semiconductor anecdote came from Ukrainian officials who told the minister that when they opened captured Russian tanks, they found refrigerators and parts of commercial and industrial machinery. , the parts seem to make up for the otherwise unavailable parts.

U.S. shipments to Russia, including items subject to the new rules — semiconductors, telecommunications equipment, lasers, avionics and maritime technology — have decreased by 85% in volume and value compared to the same period in 2021, Patterson said 97%. .

In his Senate remarks, Raimondo also pointed to recent reports that two Russian tank makers had to stop production due to a lack of spare parts. The White House also previously highlighted those reports, saying that Uralva Gunzavod and Chelyabinsk tractor plants had stopped production.

Computer chips, also known as semiconductors, are the brains that operate most modern electronics, from appliances to fighter jets. Russia rarely produces its own chips and has historically relied on imports from Asian and Western companies.

The world’s largest computer chip company began cutting off supplies to Russia in late February after U.S.-led restrictions took effect.

Russian drone shot down over Ukraine fills western region

The United States and other Western countries have already regulated the sale of chips and other electronic components specially designed for military use to Russia. Even before Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine, those sales required government permission to take place.

The new rules tighten those restrictions and prohibit the sale of most dual-use chips with both military and commercial uses to non-military users in Russia, including those in the high-tech industry.

The Biden administration said the ban would cut off more than half of Russia’s high-tech imports and dent the country’s ability to diversify its economy and support its military. The ban is not intended to stop the delivery of consumer electronics.

The new move, which the U.S. has used only once before — against China’s Huawei — also requires global companies to abide by rules that prevent the sale of U.S.-made equipment or software to Russia if they use U.S.-made equipment or software to produce chips. Analysts say most of the world’s chip factories use software or equipment designed in the United States.

Previous research has shown that the Russian military has long relied on Western electronics. Investigators with the London-based Arms of Conflict Research Group, which has dissected drones, say Russian military drones shot down over Ukraine in recent years are full of Western electronics and components.


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