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Moldovan firms allegedly facilitate $15M aircraft parts sales to Russia post Ukraine invasion

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Three Moldovan companies started to sell aircraft parts to Russia only a few months after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine and sold about $15 million worth of aircraft parts, stated by Radio Europa Libera Moldova on Jan. 31.

All the companies acted as middlemen, placing orders for spare parts. After that, they helped transport them to Russia, sometimes directly to Russian airports or major Russian airlines, such as Pobeda and S7 Engineering. The deliveries were not made through the territory of Moldova.

Read also: 76 Russian passenger planes seized due to Western sanctions on aviation industry

According to Radio Europa Libera Moldova, three companies were involved in the scheme: Airrock Solutions, Aerostage Services, and Maxjet Service.

The first two were founded in November 2021 and April 2022. Their owner is Ivan Melnikov, a former top official of the Moldovan airline Air Moldova. The third has existed since 2011, and is owned by Sergei Ranga.

Read also: Russia explores “ways to bypass” EU sanctions

The reason for this situation could be Chisinau’s non-accession to some EU sanctions against Russia regarding the supply of aviation parts, the investigation says.

Sources in the office of the Moldovan president said that they were aware of these cases and that “competent authorities” were already dealing with them. The country is also discussing the possibility of joining other EU sanctions.

On Jan. 12, a joint study by the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) and the Yermak-McFaul International Sanctions Group revealed that, despite the sanctions, Russian imports of military goods had only slightly decreased.

From January to October 2023, the imports totaled almost $9 billion, representing only a 10% decrease compared to the period before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine

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