Blame not on Indians for sending Western goods to Russia: officials

LONDON: Western officials have played down reports that Indian companies may be circumventing embargoes and secretly supplying Russia with components for Western-made military equipment. Moscow is said to be using them in its invasion of Ukraine.
Officials said the Indian companies were unlikely to have breached international law, as such hardware and software tends to be dual-use and was likely shipped to Russia for a legitimate reason.
A source said: “…a whole bunch of dual purpose components such as chips, processors and the like that could be bought for a particular purpose and then used in a range of military equipment. Although that would be a misuse by the purchaser, it would not necessarily be an illegal act on the part of these companies to have supplied them with the intention of supplying them for non-military purposes.
Britain’s defense think tank Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) released a report last April that found nearly all of Russia’s modern military hardware depends on complex electronics imported from the US, UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Israel, China and elsewhere.
He said many cruise and ballistic missile computer components were purchased for civilian use as part of the Russian space program. “(Russian space agency) ROSCOSMOS has been a way for Russia to obtain dual-use technologies for the military,” the report said. This route has been blocked since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but “there are a myriad of companies based around the world, including in Turkey, India and China, which will take considerable risks to meet the needs of Russian supplies”.
The report says Russia is “ready to use blackmail” to keep these channels open. He cited recent warnings from ROSCOSMOS chief Dmitry Rogozin that Western sanctions against his organization could cause Russian satellites to malfunction and damage the International Space Station.
Western officials believed the sanctions were having an impact. “It is clear that the Russians are currently struggling to replace some of their high precision capabilities. And that leads to a situation where we see a variety of Russian weapon systems being used in non-traditional ways. Firing coastal defense cruise missiles in land attack mode to hit buildings is a suboptimal use of this system,” one said.

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