Dec 29, 2020
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New sanctions against Russia

The US Department of Commerce has published a new sanctions list, which includes more than a hundred commercial and government structures from China and Russia. There are 45 Russian names, but in fact we are talking about 41 organizations, since some appear in the list twice.

This time, US officials justified the new sanctions on the following reasons: “The US Department of Commerce recognizes the importance of engaging with US and foreign companies to combat the efforts of China and Russia to use US technology in their destabilizing military programs.” The essence of the new sanctions is that now foreign companies need to obtain a separate and special permit to interact with these Russian organizations. And the US authorities may not give him up. If someone concludes deals without such permission, then he himself will fall under American sanctions.

Oddities on the list

The current list looks extremely strange, and it seems that it was written in a hurry. One list contains, for example, the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Defense, and at the same time the Institute of Catalysis named after GK Boreskova or the Central Scientific Research Institute of Mechanical Engineering. Typically, US officials separate government agencies and businesses by giving them separate lists. But “then they decided to combine.”

The second oddity is that sanctions are justified by the alleged use of technology for military purposes, but the list contains a huge number of purely civilian enterprises. As, for example, “Sukhoi Civil Aircraft”. The experts were especially surprised by the fact that the special flight unit “Russia” fell under the sanctions. This company transports Russian officials, including Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Many of the listed enterprises are already under other US sanctions, including sectoral ones. That is, in fact, this is a continuation of all the same actions that White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien announced a few months ago when he said that “the problem with the Russians is that there is practically nothing to be sanctioned there. We sanctioned 300 organizations. and oligarchs in Russia, we have imposed sanctions on all energy companies. There is not much we can do in terms of sanctions with Russia. We are looking for other places where we can show dissatisfaction, but this is difficult to do because of the comprehensive nature of the sanctions already in place. ” … In general, the current list of the US Department of Commerce is apparently made according to the principle “well, let’s punish at least someone.”

Aviation and astronautics

However, speaking seriously, it seems that the biggest problems in this case await Russian aviation and astronautics.

As for the aircraft industry, the list includes the Irkut enterprise, which develops the MS-21 aircraft, and the aforementioned Sukhoi. The fact is that one of the complete sets of the MC-21 aircraft made by Irkut contains an American-made engine. Sukhoi’s Superjet also contains foreign-made parts. And, apparently, Russia will have to build new aircraft manufacturing production chains in order to provide its aircraft with domestic parts and materials.

By the way, a number of enterprises from the list are still working with foreign partners on a regular basis. According to representatives of the United Aircraft Corporation, “we have not received any notifications of termination of cooperation from our foreign partners. The implementation of our aviation programs continues.”

On the other hand, at the end of September, Vasily Shpak, the director of the radio-electronic industry department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, officially announced that “foreign suppliers of components for Russian aviation refused to cooperate with Russia at the same time.”

If we talk about other enterprises, then the list also includes such a state corporation as Rostec. And there, it seems, they do not see any special problems for themselves in the new sanctions. According to the executives of the corporation, they have already “forgotten how to work without sanctions.” Also in “Rostec” they said that for them getting into the next black list is “an additional incentive to work even better”.

Experts note that the current list can cause serious harm to the Russian and international titanium market. The list includes the company “VSMPO-Avisma”, which is currently the world’s largest titanium producer. Including for Boeing aircraft. And here the question already arises whether this company will receive a special license, since you cannot fly a lot without Russian titanium. The significance of Avisma is obvious: Boeing provides 20% of the total revenue, and the American company buys titanium on an industrial scale. And she really needs him.

Rogozin demands to think again

Among other things, several enterprises and structures of Roscosmos were included in the sanctions list. The head of the corporation Dmitry Rogozin commented on this on his FB page:

“[Санкции] illegal, however, like all earlier imposed sanctions against Russian individuals and legal entities. They are stupid because they arbitrarily categorize companies as “military end users” that are not and are not. For example, JSC TSNIIMASH is the leading branch scientific institute; it includes the ISS Mission Control Center, where a group of NASA specialists is permanently located. Should they not know that there is nothing there that could connect this institution with military research?

Or, for example, the Progress RCC, which in a strange way was included in the sanctions list. This Samara enterprise makes the legendary Soyuz-2 launch vehicles, with the help of which the Soyuz MS spacecraft has been delivering American astronauts to the ISS for already 10 years. Now, it turns out that our American colleagues have “started working” again, and the first thing they did was to spit in the Samara well. Isn’t it too early, colleagues, suddenly again the “trampoline” will break and you will have to satisfy your passion for space from our well again?

These sanctions are harmful, because they will create additional obstacles and irritations in the so important cooperation between Russians and Americans in space, in particular on the ISS.

Therefore, for the sake of preserving our common cause, I demand that the US government immediately lift these sanctions against our enterprises. We will assume that this is a “misunderstanding” “- that’s what Rogozin wrote.

It is obvious that not only the Russian, but also the American side gets problems from the escalation of tension in the space industry. Dmitry Rogozin wrote a letter to NASA head Jim Bridenstine regarding the sanctions, but the Russian side has not yet received an answer to it.

In general, the expert community is inclined to believe that the new sanctions list, although it creates certain problems for a number of Russian enterprises, is not as critical for them as it seems. And, I think, licenses for cooperation in critical industries for the United States will be issued to American companies.

Nevertheless, sadly, the US sanctions war against Russia continues. International tension is growing. Has already grown to the level of the Cold War.

Alexander Chausov

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