The United States will tighten control over exports of nuclear and missile technology to Russia

The U.S. Commerce Department puts Russia in the group of countries of concern from the point of view of export of nuclear and missile technologies. Now the exports of sensitive goods restricted almost as much as North Korea or Iraq, according to RBC.

США ужесточат контроль за экспортом ядерных и ракетных технологий в Россию

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The US authorities decided to downgrade the status of Russia from the point of view of us exports of sensitive goods and technologies. Russia will be transferred to the category D countries of concern in terms of export of nuclear and missile technologies, to the amendments to the country classification of the Bureau of industry and security (BIS, Department of Commerce), which come into force on 24 February.

Now Russia marked A in the parameters for the export of nuclear and missile technologies, like the vast majority of Western countries.

“Rule moves Russia from more favourable treatment less favourable, reflecting concerns about the proliferation of nuclear and missile technologies,” the document says BIS.

As a result of these amendments, the United States will cease to issue licenses for the export to Russia of materials that can be used to manufacture chemical or biological weapons, technology, dangerous from the point of view of nuclear proliferation, and missile technologies (including ballistic missiles, launch vehicles, sounding rockets, and unmanned systems — cruise missiles, reconnaissance drones, etc.)

Americans are forbidden to put such systems in Russia. As an exception to the export and re-export of goods to Russia, support civil cooperation between Russia and the United States in the space sector or commercial launches may be permitted in individual cases.

In General, the U.S. administration consistently displays space cooperation with Russia under the scope of the sanctions (in particular, because the U.S. continues to buy Russian rocket engines RD-180 and to use Russian Soyuz spacecraft for delivery to the ISS, their astronauts).

Since the new rules took effect, Russia will become a country that practically cannot legally buy in the United States, not only nuclear and missile technologies and products controlled by the criterion of “national security” (avionics, gas turbines, calibration equipment, etc.), These deliveries to Russia were limited in 2018.

From this point of view, more stringent export regime of the US only applies to North Korea, Iraq, Libya and Venezuela. The U.S. Department of Commerce explains the downgrading of Russia that new export restrictions “reduce the risk that products and technologies can be diverted [from Russia to other countries] can contribute to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and military capabilities of countries of concern from the standpoint of U.S. national security”.

The ban on exports to Russia of certain goods also “underscores the seriousness with which the United States refer to the use of nerve agent “Beginner” in 2018 in the UK” (the Russian authorities reject the version about his involvement in the poisoning of ex-GRU officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia).

Russia “refuses to cooperate and permit BIS to conduct inspections prior to the issuance of licenses for exports to Russia, and to verify the use of goods of American origin after they are delivered,” explains Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce.

Overall commodity imports to Russia from the US in 2019 amounted to $13.2 bn, according to data of the FCS. But it is assumed that sensitive from the point of view of nuclear or missile proliferation, U.S. national security goods already delivered to Russia only in small quantities.

Most Russian imports of U.S. goods group “Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances” ($1.8 billion), “land vehicles” ($1.7 billion) and “Pharmaceutical products” ($1.2 billion).