Russia’s dependence on oil exports and American sanctions have disrupted its war effort against Ukraine. However, a report by PBS NewsHour with support from the Pulitzer Center highlights a different area that could be critical to the Kremlin’s military output. The report focuses on Haas Automation, a high-tech American manufacturer that is allegedly flouting export controls, potentially supporting Russia’s arms industry.
俄罗斯依赖石油出口和美国的制裁已经破坏了其对乌克兰的战争努力。但是，由PBS NewsHour支持的普利策中心的一份报告突出了一个可能对克里姆林宫的军事产出至关重要的领域。该报告聚焦于Haas Automation，一家高科技美国制造商，据称该公司违反出口管制，可能支持俄罗斯的武器工业。
The report reveals that RATEP, a weapons manufacturer in Russia, which is part of the Almaz-Antey holding, sanctioned since 2014, has been supplied with precision machining tools made by California-based Haas Automation. These systems are used to produce guidance systems for anti-aircraft weapons for the Russian military.
According to the documents filed with the U.S. Treasury and the Department of Commerce last month, several Russian sanctioned enterprises in the arms industry have been supplied with such tools. These documents were filed by the Economic Security Council of Ukraine (ESCU), a group that oversees sanctions compliance.
ESCU alleges that Haas is doing business with the Russian arms industry through Abamet Management LTD., an official distributor of Haas in Russia and Belarus. The ESCU’s months of investigation, including combing through Russian government procurement databases and customs records, revealed that Haas supplies multiple Russian weapons manufacturers with sophisticated equipment known as computer numerical control machines (CNC).
ESCU指控Haas Automation通过其在俄罗斯和白俄罗斯的官方经销商Abamet Management LTD.与俄罗斯军火工业进行交易。ESCU数月的调查，包括梳理俄罗斯政府采购数据库和海关记录，发现Haas向多家俄罗斯武器制造商提供了计算机数控机床（CNC）等精密设备。
These tools are so critical to the Russian military because of their accuracy and high precision. They are used to manufacture parts for ships, aircraft, different equipment and parts for missile systems and even radio-electronic equipment. Although Russia has its own machine tool industry, its products are less precise and less sophisticated, so it relies on imports from other countries, including Haas.
Haas machining tools can transform an unrefined hunk of metal into useful military hardware. Therefore, both sides of the Ukrainian conflict have access to Haas equipment. For instance, a plant in Ukraine uses Haas machine tools to make parts for tractors and combine harvesters. However, this dual-use technology is versatile and could easily be converted to produce almost anything, including weaponry.
Peter Zierhut, the Vice President of Haas, denied that the company was still doing business with Russia. In a written statement to NewsHour, he stated that Haas had cut ties with its Russian distributor on March 3 of last year, just a week after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began. However, NewsHour’s investigation reveals that customs records show that shipments continued for months after Russia’s invasion began. At least 18 shipments, worth $2.8 million, were made to Russia directly from Haas from March 4 through October last year.
The report highlights that Russia’s arms industry depends on technology developed in other countries. In addition to Haas, Germany’s Siemens and Japan’s DMG Mori are also computer numerical control machine tool manufacturers that Ukraine believes are crucial to the continuing function of Russia’s arms industry. According to Agiya Zahrebelska, the head of the sanctions department of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention, approximately 70 percent to 80 percent of Russia’s machine industry is Western, which is the imported machines.
Read more: American company accused of violating sanctions, doing business with Russian arms industry
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