The United States announced Wednesday, October 19 the indictment of a dozen people accused of having sold American technologies to Russia, some of which found themselves used on the battlefield in Ukraine.
These lawsuits, coupled with new economic sanctions, result from “two separate international conspiracies intended to violate US trade laws and sanctionssaid Justice Minister Merrick Garland in a statement.
In the first, five Russians and two Venezuelan oil brokers were charged with buying electronic components from the United States to equip planes, radars or missiles, and reselling them to Russian arms companies. Some of these components, which transited through an opaque financial system, “were found in Russian weapons platforms seized from the Ukrainian battle camp“, according to Merrick Garland.
This network, of which two members were arrested in Germany and Italy, is suspected of having used the same front company to transfer hundreds of millions of barrels of Venezuelan oil to Russia and China. The Treasury has adopted sanctions against one of the leaders of this network, the Russian Yuri Orekhov, and two of his companies based in Germany and Dubai. “They indirectly contributed to the Kremlin’s unjustified war against Ukraine“said Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement.
In the second case, three people were arrested in Latvia and one in Estonia for having tried to export to Russia a sophisticated grinding machine, likely to be diverted for nuclear purposes. Charged with fraud and money laundering, they face extradition requests from the United States.
The number two of the Treasury, Wally Adeyemo, had organized a meeting on Friday in Washington on sanctions against Russia which brought together, including the United States, officials from 33 countries. He said on Wednesday that these new cases illustrated “the desperation of russiawhich, according to him, is increasingly struggling to obtain the technologies necessary for its war effort.