EU goods worth more than $1bn ‘vanish’ in Russian transit – report
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More than USD 1 billion worth of European Union listed goods exported to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia mysteriously disappeared during transit through Russia, the Financial Times reports.

Since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, only half of USD 2 billion worth of EU dual-use goods sent through Russia reach their destination, raising suspicions that the passing through may only have been the pretence for sanctions circumvention.

For some specific categories of goods, including gas turbines, soldering irons and radio broadcast equipment, "almost none of the items sent from the EU appear to have reached their purported destinations", according to import data analysed by the FT.

"Some discrepancies in global trade mirror stats are not unusual, but this is beyond your typical minor errors," Elina Ribakova, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, told the publication.

The true figure for Russia’s likely ‘ghost import’ could be significantly higher, since the USD 1 billion only relates to dual-use goods that could potentially be used for military purposes.

"Where else could it go? Why would those countries suddenly need those goods at this time? Who needs those goods the most in the region? It’s obviously Russia," Erki Kodar, Estonia’s minister for sanctions, was quoted as saying.

EU members on Wednesday started discussing new sanctions proposed in connection with Russia's war against Ukraine, targeting Chinese and Iranian firms and allowing export curbs to third countries for violating existing trade restrictions.