Maldives Becomes Second Largest Supplier of Chips to Russia
The Maldives is helping Russia to circumvent sanctions on the import of US chips into its territory. Thus, a year after the full-scale invasion, the small island nation exported about 400,000 semiconductors worth more than $53 million to Russia.
Nikkei Asia reported this, citing Russian customs data obtained from the Indian research firm Export Genius.
According to customs data, about 400,000 semiconductors worth a total of $53.6 million were shipped to Russia via the Maldives. The records analysed covered shipments worth more than $50,000 each. Overall, the Maldives was second only to China, including Hong Kong, in terms of such imports in the year after 24 February.
Exports of US semiconductors to Russia accounted for about 20% of the Maldives' total exports in 2021, which the UN estimated at $280 million. A source at one of the shipping companies said that semiconductor shipments from the US to Russia are possible. To do this, a Maldivian trading or forwarding company must be specified as the recipient.
At the same time, none of the 14 companies that export semiconductors to Russia are based in the Maldives. For example, Mykines Corp, which shipped $40 million worth of chips to Russia, is registered in London. Earlier it was reported that the British company Mykines Corporation, registered in London, has organised the sale of electronics to Russia for about $1.2 billion since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in early 2022.
"The US authorities have already looked at freight forwarders in the Maldives and their potential role in avoiding restrictions on shipments to Russia. In May 2022, the United States Department of Commerce accused a company called Intermodal Maldives of facilitating the export of aircraft parts to Russia in violation of US restrictions," the publication says.
It is noted that the supply of semiconductors from the Maldives increased sharply in May 2022 after Aeroflot resumed direct scheduled flights from Moscow to the capital of the island nation of Male. The state-owned airline's planes could become a means of transporting semiconductors, Nikkei Asia notes.
As reported by The Gaze, Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly announced the introduction of new sanctions against 20 individuals and 21 legal entities closely linked to the Russian military-industrial complex and so-called volunteer organisations that support Russia's aggressive war against Ukraine.