Ukraine says West must halt weapons parts supplies to Russia

On Friday, Ukraine called on the Western nations to take decisive action in curbing Russia’s arms production by closing loopholes that enable the acquisition of crucial components. Despite extensive sanctions imposed by Western countries on Russia’s weapons industry and the prohibition of military goods and parts exports aiding Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Kyiv argues that Russia still manages to obtain vital components from Western firms.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba urged the West to “get serious about strangling Russia’s ability to produce weapons” in a social media post. Kuleba claimed that, based on some data, up to 95 percent of the foreign-produced critical components found in Russian weapons destroyed in Ukraine originated from Western countries. He pointed out that private firms are exporting civilian or “dual-use” goods containing parts that can be repurposed for military applications.

While Kuleba did not provide specific evidence for the assertion, Kyiv regularly disassembles Russian missiles and drones that land on its territory to scrutinize their components. Despite Western sanctions, Russia continues to launch advanced missiles and drones at Ukraine regularly, with Iran supplying Moscow with drones and North Korea reportedly sending artillery shells and rockets, according to Western intelligence.

Russia has significantly increased its domestic arms production, prompting Ukraine to intensify its calls for preventing Western goods from reaching Russian weapons factories. Kuleba emphasized that closing “murky schemes and sanction evasion loopholes” would reduce the need for assistance and minimize the loss of lives in Ukraine.

President Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier in the week, stressed the importance of ensuring that sanctions against Russia work effectively. Meanwhile, Ukraine faces its own ammunition shortage, and officials in Kyiv have acknowledged concerns that multi-billion-dollar military aid from the West could be at risk amid political uncertainties in both Europe and the United States.

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