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Expert describes how Russia evades sanctions

August 11th, 2023

Despite being ‘the most sanctioned country in world history’, Russia manages to import even high-tech products for military use, one of Hungary’s best-known Russia experts writes.

On Index, Anton Bendarjevsky, director of the Oeconomus Foundation of Economic Research suggests that Russia imports virtually anything it needs despite the unprecedented 13,500 sanctions imposed on its exports and imports. For example, Russians can buy Apple iPhones in Moscow, sanctions notwithstanding, and what’s more, at lower prices than customers pay for them in western Europe. The same goes for high-tech electronic products Russia uses for its high-precision missiles. The usual way of circumventing western sanctions, Bendarjevsky writes, is to buy the desired products in third countries. (As for iPhones, Russia buys them in Thailand – cheaper than they would cost elsewhere). Western producers must be fully aware of that, he remarks, as they cannot fail to notice a sudden, fourfold jump in their sales to, say, Armenia or Kazakhstan. The main countries mentioned by Bendarjevsky through which Russia succeeds in evading sanctions are China, Hongkong, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Armenia and Kazakhstan.

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