Canada Grants Airbus Waiver to Use Russian Titanium Despite Sanctions

Canada grants Airbus waiver to use Russian titanium, defying sanctions to ensure aircraft production in the country. Airbus secures operations, but experts warn of broader impact on Western aerospace industry.

Sakchi Khandelwal
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Canada Grants Airbus Waiver to Use Russian Titanium Despite Sanctions

Canada Grants Airbus Waiver to Use Russian Titanium Despite Sanctions

The Canadian government has granted Airbus Corporation a waiver to use Russian titanium in its manufacturing operations, despite the sanctions imposed on VSPMO-Avisma, a Russian titanium producer. Airbus has plants located in Canada and was concerned about the impact of the sanctions on its continued production of aircraft and other equipment. The Canadian government has authorized Airbus to ensure the safety and compliance of its operations in Canada, in accordance with the applicable sanctions.

This move by the Canadian government ensures that Airbus can continue its manufacturing activities in the country, securing its operations despite the sanctions on the Russian titanium supplier. Canada broke ranks with other aerospace nations in February by including VSMPO-AVISMA, the aerospace industry's largest historical titanium supplier, in its list of entities banned for alleged ties to Russia's military-industrial complex.

Airbus has stated that it has received the necessary permits to carry out its activities in compliance with the relevant sanctions. This special permit gives Airbus greater freedom to use its production facilities in Canada, where the Airbus A220 is partially assembled. Experts note that the Airbus A220 does not require a large number of titanium elements, unlike the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787.

The sanctions against VSMPO-Avisma could potentially create problems when exporting aircraft built abroad using Russian titanium to Canada, and special permits may be required in such cases. Airbus has warned that restrictions on Russian titanium could severely impact the Western aircraft industry, while the damage to the Russian economy would be negligible. A Canadian government source has stated that their own sanctions should not cause significant harm to themselves.

Why this matters: The debate over potential further sanctions targeting Russia's economy continues, with Ukraine's president calling for stronger economic measures against Russia. The Canadian government's stance is expected to raise the stakes in this debate, as it highlights the West's continued dependence on Russian titanium for its aerospace industry.

Airbus has pledged to accelerate plans to diversify its titanium supplies, with Norway's Norsk Titanium announcing a new agreement to supply the planemaker. The exemption from the Canadian government is designed to give Airbus leeway in importing jets produced in the EU and built with Russian titanium. "Airbus has obtained the necessary authorization from the Canadian government to secure its operations in compliance with the applicable sanctions," the company stated, though the details of the approvals and their duration were not specified.

Key Takeaways

  • Canada grants Airbus waiver to use Russian titanium despite sanctions.
  • Airbus can continue manufacturing in Canada, securing operations amid sanctions.
  • Canada broke ranks with allies by banning Russian titanium supplier VSMPO-AVISMA.
  • Airbus pledges to diversify titanium supplies, accelerating plans.
  • Debate continues over potential further sanctions targeting Russia's economy.