The Russian spy network has been buying technology from EU companies needed to fight Ukraine despite sanctions imposed in March 2022, a Financial Times investigation found .
As the publication clarifies, we are talking about the purchase of various goods, from microchips to ammunition, as well as machine tools from Germany and Finland.
The US Department of Justice believes that work on "highly secret procurement activities" on behalf of the FSB, SVR and the Ministry of Defense is being conducted by Sernia Engineering. As the FT found out, another such company could be the TradeTools Trading House, registered in an industrial zone in the north of Moscow. Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, TradeTools has purchased $900,000 worth of materials, including microchips and goods for industrial production, mainly from the EU.
According to the FT, there is no evidence that European companies knew they were dealing with a company linked to Russian intelligence.
The text of the FT investigation also mentions the Robin Trade company, which is part of the Sernia Engineering network and owned by the same person, Russian citizen Alexei Zibirov. A Western official familiar with the FT's findings confirmed that Zibirov is considered a person of interest because of his links to the FSB.
At the same time, it became known to Bloomberg today that the US and EU countries are preparing separate packages of new sanctions against Russia, the main goal of which is to close loopholes in previously imposed sanctions and solve the problem of circumventing them as a whole.
Among the proposed measures is a ban on the transit of "many goods" through the territory of Russia, as well as sanctions against ships that disable navigation systems.
Details are expected to be announced during the G7 leaders' meeting.