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Kazakhstan Denies Shipping Chips To Russia For Military Purposes

By Aygerim Sarymbetova March 12, 2023

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In 2022, Kazakhstan’s export of advanced semiconductors to Russia was valued at $3.7 million, which is a significant increase from the previous year when it was just $12,000, before the onset of the war. / Sputnik.kz

Kazakhstan has refuted any claims that chips and semiconductors exported to Russia through its territory are being used for military objectives.

“We declared a year ago that Kazakhstan, which does not support sanctions as an instrument of international politics on the one hand, would not help circumvent these sanctions by using our territories. Our Western partners have also made no claims against Kazakhstan on the issue,” Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vasilenko said on March 10.

He added that the flow of goods to and from Kazakhstan had changed over the past year due to “the disruption in supply chains.”

“Kazakhstan has begun receiving goods from such countries as China, India, and Vietnam directly, as well as from European countries. There is also an increase in Kazakhstan’s exports to Russia, but these are the goods that were produced mostly in countries that do not take part in the sanctions imposed by the West on Russia,” Vasilenko said.

The deputy minister noted that military products or dual-use goods exported from Kazakhstan to Russia were being “tracked until they reach the end user.”

Bloomberg reports that Russia has been able to circumvent Western sanctions and obtain vital semiconductors and other technologies necessary for its military efforts in Ukraine. The article states that sophisticated chips and integrated circuits produced in the EU and other allied countries are being transported to Russia through intermediary nations, including Kazakhstan. According to Trade Data Monitor based in Geneva, some restricted items, specifically advanced semiconductors, are being redirected to Russia via intermediary countries. It has been observed that many of these nations have unexpectedly altered their trade patterns since the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

During 2022, Kazakhstan’s export of advanced semiconductors to Russia was valued at $3.7 million, which is a significant increase from the previous year when it was just $12,000, before the onset of the war.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the President of Kazakhstan, and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, had a phone conversation on March 6. The two leaders discussed the present condition and future potential for boosting the bilateral relationship, improving transit and transportation infrastructure, developing energy, trade, and economic partnerships, as part of their agreements.

Earlier, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry said that UN resolutions on Russia’s war in Ukraine would exacerbate the crisis, and “the adoption of such resolutions will not contribute to finding a mutually acceptable solution.”

The ministry made the statement on February 27, in response to widespread criticism after it had once again abstained from voting in the latest UN General Assembly resolution on peace in Ukraine on February 23.