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Dutch-made Microchips Reached Russia Through China despite US Sanctions: Report

A new investigation report has revealed that millions of microchips made by Dutch companies reached Russia last year and were used in Russian defence systems.

Russian weapons

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A new investigation report has revealed that millions of microchips made by Dutch companies reached Russia last year and were used in defence systems and equipment, despite the US's ban on Russia following the Ukraine war.

The Dutch newspaper Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS) revealed that NXP and Nexperia microchips produced by a Dutch manufacturer were handled by resellers and sold to three Russian companies.

It came to light that the entire operation was done via a group of Chinese companies that helped Russia provide the technology after receiving it from the Dutch manufacturers.

Dutch-made microchips reached Russia through China despite US sanctions: Report

"A range of Dutch components are crucial to the Russian war machine; these chips are regularly found in almost all types of Russian military drones and other precision weapons, such as cruise missiles," said James Byrne, director of the open-source intelligence and analysis research group at the Royal United Services Institute.

However, the companies have denied the claims and said they don’t do business with Russia, adding that their customers are also not allowed to resell the products. The companies’ spokespeople said that they can't do anything if chips are sent to Russia through parallel trade. The largest of these shipments that included these microchips was from Sinno Electronics, which has been sanctioned by Washington but not by the European Union. Other boxes included smaller shipments sent by regular mail to avoid US sanctions, per the report published by the New York Times.

The report further stated that Ukraine was asked to examine 27 Russian defence systems and equipment, and it was found that 10 of the 27 weapon systems contained NXP chips. Notably, these NXP microchips have been used in Russian missiles, helicopters, drones, and howitzers, including Iranian attack drones, the report said.

Meanwhile, responding to the concern the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs told that "The Netherlands is very concerned about this and, together with the European Union and other EU countries, is looking for effective ways to prevent this and to tackle brokering". Notably, the use of these microchips in Russian defence equipment could ultimately escalate the Russia-Ukraine conflict and put western allies under question.

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