Lithuanian PM on Taiwanese supplies to Russia: sanctions mechanism incomplete

  • 2024-02-05
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The sanctions mechanism is incomplete and the situation is being assessed, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said on Monday in response to media reports that Taiwanese equipment supplies to Russia's military industry have increased since the start of the war in Ukraine. 

"The sanctions mechanism, unfortunately, is incomplete, because the possibility of supplying to third countries is now somewhat restricted, but, in our understanding, not enough," the prime minister told journalists.

"I can't deny that such discussions are taking place, and the clarification is underway," she added.

At the end of January, the Insider, an independent Russian website, said that its joint journalistic investigation with the Reporter, a Taiwanese outlet, had revealed that Taiwan "has become Russia's most important supplier of high-precision metalworking machines".

"Of course, we have to understand that there is a fight going on here with Russia having put its entire economy into a military regime and trying to maximize the military industry," said Simonyte.

She said that the fight against circumventing sanctions is very complex.

According to the Insider investigation, despite the sanctions imposed by Taipei in January 2023 on the supply of machine tools to Russia, the equipment travels from Taiwan to Russia by ship via third countries, mainly China and Turkey. 

Based on Russian customs records from the international trade data platform NBD, the Insider reports that in Moscow imported 193 pieces of machine tools from Taiwan, worth almost 29 million US dollars in total, between March and September 2023. 

Ties between Lithuania and Taiwan have been deepening over the past few years. A Taiwanese representative office was opened in Vilnius in the fall of 2021, and Lithuania opened a trade representative office in Taipei in November 2022.