October 22, 2018
Aggressive policies towards neighboring countries, gross violations of international law and breaking up of the international security system have compelled the international community to impose political and economic sanctions against Russia. Military and technical cooperation have become the object of the severest restrictions. US has taken the strong stand on the issue, and still keep adhering to the commitment of tightening the sanctions regime, especially in the issues of countering strengthening of the military capabilities of the Russian armed forces. However, despite of this, some US companies keep cooperating with the state which is widely thought as a political outlaw. Moreover, they help the Russian armed forces to develop the weapons used in military conflicts in the Ukrainian Donbass and against the civilian population in Syria. As current situation shows there is no guarantee that Russia will not use such weapons against other states. Here are just a few examples of US-Russian military and technical cooperation. Since 2014, the US FLIR supplies thermal imagers to the Naval Forces of the Russian Federation. Russia equips anti-terror vessels under 03160 Raptor project (P-415 and P-425 ships are in Sevastopol in the annexed Crimea), special fast attack crafts BK-10, BK-16 and BK-18, as well as small missile cruisers (Storm and Okhotsk SMC) under 22800 project manufactured by Sevastopol “More” plant with US-produced thermal imagers. In addition, study of the two Russian Orlan-10 UAVs (side numbers 10212 and 11057) shot down in the east of Ukraine in 2014 and 2017 showed that almost all electronics, motors and optics were of US Filtronetics, Texas Instruments, Linear, Pulse Electronics production. Also, the analysis of UAV production statistics in Russia indicates that their production is constantly increasing. Thus, in February 2014, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation owned about 500 UAVs, about 650 UAVs were delivered to the armed forces of Russia by April 2015, and about 1000 units in November 2016. Significant growth of Orlan UAVs production in Russia from early 2014 (4 times) shows that the necessary foreign-manufactured spare parts have been acquired just during the military invasion in Ukraine, i.e. during the sanctions regime. This means that contrary to the official Washington’s statements, US companies keep military and technical cooperation with Russia, disregarding the official stance of their country.
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Rene Westbrook