Sanctions force Russia to use computer chips from refrigerators, dishwashers in military equipment, Gina Raimundo tells Senate

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U.S.-led sanctions are forcing Russia to make use of laptop chips from dishwashers and fridges in some army gear, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo mentioned Wednesday.

“We have reports from Ukrainians that when they find Russian military equipment on the ground, it’s filled with semiconductors that they took out of dishwashers and refrigerators,” Raimondo advised a Senate listening to, noting that she not too long ago met with Ukraine’s prime minister.

U.S. expertise exports to Russia have fallen by practically 70 % since sanctions started in late February, in accordance with Raimondo, whose division oversees the export controls that kind an enormous a part of the sanctions bundle. Three dozen different nations have adopted comparable export bans, which additionally apply to Belarus.

“Our approach was to deny Russia technology — technology that would cripple their ability to continue a military operation. And that is exactly what we are doing,” she mentioned in a response to a query from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) in regards to the affect of the export controls.

Computer chip trade begins halting deliveries to Russia in response to U.S. sanctions

The semiconductor anecdote got here from Ukrainian officers, who advised the secretary that after they opened up captured Russian tanks, they discovered elements from fridges and business and industrial equipment that seem to make up for different unavailable parts, Commerce Department spokeswoman Robyn Patterson mentioned.

The variety of U.S. shipments to Russia together with objects topic to the brand new guidelines — semiconductors, telecommunications gear, lasers, avionics and maritime expertise — has decreased 85 % and their worth has decreased 97 %, in contrast with the identical time interval in 2021, Patterson mentioned.

In her Senate remarks, Raimondo additionally pointed to current experiences that two Russian tank producers have needed to idle manufacturing due to a scarcity of parts. The White House, too, has beforehand highlighted these experiences, saying Uralvagonzavod and Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant have halted manufacturing.

Computer chips, also referred to as semiconductors, are the brains that function most trendy electronics, from home equipment to fighter jets. Russia manufactures few of its personal chips, traditionally counting on imports from Asian and Western corporations.

The world’s greatest laptop chip corporations started reducing off deliveries to Russia in late February, after the U.S.-led restrictions kicked in.

Russian drones shot down over Ukraine have been filled with Western elements

The United States and different Western nations already had regulated gross sales to Russia of chips and different digital parts particularly designed for army use. Those gross sales required a authorities license to proceed even earlier than Russia’s current invasion of Ukraine.

The new guidelines tightened these restrictions and in addition blocked the sale of most dual-use chips, which have each army and business functions, to nonmilitary customers in Russia, together with these in high-tech industries.

The Biden administration mentioned the ban would reduce off greater than half of Russia’s high-tech imports and kneecap the nation’s skill to diversify its financial system and help its army. The ban was not designed to dam deliveries of client electronics.

In a novel transfer that the United States has used solely as soon as earlier than — in opposition to China’s Huawei — it is usually requiring corporations worldwide to abide by the foundations and block such gross sales to Russia in the event that they use U.S. manufacturing gear or software program to supply chips. Most chip factories around the globe use software program or gear designed within the United States, analysts say.

Previous analysis has proven Russia’s army has lengthy relied on Western electronics. Russian army drones shot down over Ukraine lately have been filled with Western electronics and parts, in accordance with investigators from the London-based Conflict Armament Research group, which dissected the drones.

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