Russia has dramatically increased the supply of hidden goods to NATO countries, including the United States. This is evidenced by data from the Federal Customs Service (FCS), RBC reports.
The publication analyzed the statistics of customs officers for three quarters of 2021. It turned out that at once six countries of the North Atlantic Alliance were among the top ten leaders in “secret” purchases in Russia.
The hidden categories (product code SSSS in the FCS classifier), as a rule, include the supply of weapons and ammunition, military and civil aircraft and helicopters and spare parts for them, as well as nuclear materials.
The export of such goods to the United States this year exceeded $ 840 million, to the Czech Republic it exceeded $ 700 million, deliveries to Germany exceeded $ 300 million, and to the Netherlands – $ 220 million.
Most of the deliveries to European countries are related to the dispatch of aircraft from Russia for repairs. This is directly or indirectly evidenced by the counter statistics studied by RBC.
But hidden exports to the United States are not related to air. Most of it – $ 574 million – ended up in the group of chemical compounds. According to the US Census Bureau, which publishes US foreign trade statistics, we are talking about purchases of radioactive chemical elements and isotopes in Russia. We sent enriched uranium alone overseas for $ 522 million this year.
“Few people know that half of American nuclear power plants run on Russian uranium,” says military expert Viktor Litovkin…
– Also few people know that 40-50% of each Boeing is built from Russian titanium. Together with the Americans, we have built a plant where we manufacture structures for Boeing from the titanium supplied by us. We also supply the well-known RD-180 rocket engine for them. Moreover, we sold both the license for the production of this engine and the technology for its production to the Americans. But they were not able to release it, just repeat the assembly on their territory.
But the United States has a law prohibiting the use of Russian engines on their missiles. Therefore, it is done like this: our engine from Energomash is delivered to the States for a joint venture, where a nameplate is attached to it that the engine is made in the USA. And this is the only way the Americans can put our RD-180 on their missiles.
“SP”: – How regularly does the United States buy rocket engines from Russia, could there have been supplies this year?
– Now they have suspended purchases. They have accumulated enough of our rocket engines in their warehouses. In addition, many times in the US Congress they shouted that engines should not be bought in Russia. Say, it supports the Russian military industry and so on, that we need to make our own engines. But the United States could not make engines of the same class and the same economic efficiency.
“SP”: – And the US is hiding that it is buying nuclear fuel, metals and engines from us? Is this something forbidden? Why hide import-export at all?
– The Americans may ask not to indicate the supply of some goods, more precisely, that they be “encrypted” in the reports. This is done for one simple reason – so that American pride does not suffer. So that no one sees that the strongest economy in the world with the most powerful technologies turns out to be not the strongest, not the most powerful, that they cannot do or invent something.
Another significant part of SSSS exports from Russia to the United States is cartridges. And mainly for civilian small arms. Our country is the largest foreign supplier of cartridges in the American market. Over the nine months of this year, their sales have brought Russian manufacturers, mostly private companies, over $ 142 million. True, Washington last September imposed restrictions on the “permanent import” of small arms and ammunition from Russia.
The sanctions have an interesting mechanism of action: no one will cancel the current supply licenses, but after their expiration, new ones will not be issued. “SP” wrote,
that the moratorium has been imposed for only a year, but will likely be extended. To cancel it, it is simply required that Moscow fulfill a number of political conditions.
Viktor Murakhovsky, member of the expert council of the board of the Military-Industrial Commission of Russia believes that the sanctions will hit Russian producers if it comes to practical implementation:
– Perhaps, due to the introduction of sanctions restrictions, the American market for small arms and ammunition will, at least for us, curtail directly.
“SP”: – Are these significant losses for Russian manufacturers of weapons and ammunition?
– If we are talking about private manufacturers, primarily of sports and hunting weapons and ammunition, the American market was the main one for them.
“SP”: – If “direct” supplies are closed, is it possible for Russian weapons to continue to enter the American market?
– Well, we buy “Belarusian shrimps” …
“SP”: – With small arms it is clear. However, much more – in monetary terms – Russia supplies the United States with radioactive elements. What kind of elements are weapons-grade plutonium?
– No, this is not weapons-grade plutonium. On weapons-grade plutonium there were completely different agreements. There was a time when the Americans bought the surplus from our stocks from us. Therefore, this hidden export item does not apply to weapons. This is energy and science, basically. But it’s not just nuclear fuel.
There are some radioisotope components and so on. These materials are used in a number of complex technological devices, for example, in space, where it is impossible to maintain equipment.
“SP”: – Why do Americans buy nuclear fuel and nuclear elements from us?
– Some elements are generally only made by us – they cannot be found freely available on the market. And for some materials, Russian suppliers simply have no competitors in terms of price ratio.