Moldovan Companies Brokered Aircraft Parts Sales to Russia Despite EU Sanctions

Moldovan companies brokered $15M in airplane parts sales to Russia, evading EU sanctions. Moldova vows to crack down on sanctions evasion as it seeks EU membership.

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Rafia Tasleem
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Moldovan Companies Brokered Aircraft Parts Sales to Russia Despite EU Sanctions

Moldovan Companies Brokered Aircraft Parts Sales to Russia Despite EU Sanctions

An investigation by RFE/RL has revealed that three Moldovan companies brokered airplane parts sales worth over $15 million to Russian firms in 2022-23, despite EU sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. The companies claimed the contracts were with other CIS countries, but documents suggest the parts were destined for Russia.

Moldova has been accelerating efforts to comply with EU sanctions as it seeks membership in the bloc, with accession negotiations set to open. The country joined EU sanctions against Russia following the invasion. However, the RFE/RL investigation uncovered evidence of sanctions evasion through Moldovan intermediaries.

The EU has expressed concern over the findings and called on Moldova to take action to prevent sanctions evasion. Moldovan authorities have seized contraband goods at border crossings as part of their efforts to crack down on illicit trade and enforce sanctions compliance.

Why this matters: The revelations highlight the challenges of enforcing sanctions and preventing evasion, even as Moldova aligns itself more closely with the EU. The issue could impact Moldova's EU accession process and its relations with both the EU and Russia.

In a statement, the Moldovan government said it is "firmly committed to the implementation of all restrictive measures and sanctions imposed by the EU" and will "continue to take all necessary steps to prevent any attempts to evade these measures." The country's efforts to combat sanctions evasion and illicit trade will likely remain under close scrutiny as it maneuvers its geopolitical position between the EU and Russia.

Key Takeaways

  • Moldovan firms brokered $15M in airplane parts sales to Russia, evading EU sanctions.
  • Moldova accelerating EU sanctions compliance as it seeks EU membership negotiations.
  • EU concerned over sanctions evasion, calls on Moldova to prevent it.
  • Sanctions evasion could impact Moldova's EU accession and relations with EU, Russia.
  • Moldova committed to implementing EU sanctions, taking steps to combat illicit trade.