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7 июня 2024
Photo by Beiimbet Moldagali.

Kazakhstan’s Re-Exports Increase, Aiding Sanctions Circumvention – EU Spokesperson

Sensitive and dual-use items continue to reach Russia via Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan’s Re-Exports Increase, Aiding Sanctions Circumvention – EU Spokesperson

Beiimbet Moldagali, Vlast, Brussels.

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The re-export of sensitive items through Kazakhstan to Russia in spite of western sanctions has continued, a European Commission spokesperson told Vlast.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the European Union, the US, the UK, and other countries have established lists of sanctioned items, in an effort to avoid aiding Russia’s military operations.

Despite a decrease in late 2023, trade of “dual use” items via Kazakhstan to Russia has increased in recent months, prompting preoccupation at the office of the EU Sanctions Envoy, David O’Sullivan.

“O’Sullivan traveled twice to Kazakhstan last year. The EU has been working together with the Kazakh authorities to find ways to stop the re-export of sensitive items to Russia with a particular focus on Common High Priority (CHP) goods,” Francesca Dalboni, a European Commission Spokesperson, told Vlast.

Kazakhstan is among the Central Asian countries that western governments are monitoring to ensure that sanctioned goods do not ultimately reach Russia.

“Initially, the EU welcomed the sharp decrease in the re-exports of the most sensitive items from Kazakhstan to Russia after April 2023,” Dalboni said.

“However, more recently, the EU has identified that trade has been increasing for all CHP items and has remained stable at a much higher level compared to pre-invasion.”

The Commission expressed concern towards the trend, which could conceal a way for Russia to circumvent sanctions through Kazakhstan.

O’Sullivan will travel to Kazakhstan on June 17 to meet with the local government. While the Commission said that it would not directly adopt secondary sanctions, it also warned that there could be consequences for the continued circumvention of western sanctions through Kazakhstan.

“The EU does not adopt any secondary sanctions but can take specific actions including listings against operators or individuals that are facilitating sanctions circumvention. As a consequence of these listings, EU operators or individuals would be banned from trading with these entities or individuals.”