Despite US ban on Russia after the Ukraine conflict, millions of NXP and Nexperia microchips produced by Dutch manufacturers reached to Russia last year and were used in defense systems and equipment. The revelation was made by NOS investigations which said that these chips were handled by resellers and sold to three Russian companies related to defense and was done via group of Chinese companies that would supply Russia with the technology after receiving it from the Dutch manufacturers.
The director of the open-source intelligence and analysis research group at the Royal United Services Institute, James Byrne said “A range of Dutch components are crucial to the Russian war machine, these chips are regularly found in almost all types of Russian military drones and other precision weapons, such as cruise missiles”. The largest of these shipments that included these microchips was Sinno Electronics, which is named on U.S. sanctions lists, but not by the European Union. And other boxes included smaller shipments sent by regular mail to avoid US sanctions, according to the NL times report an online platform that offers English-language news from Netherlands.
Byrne’s organisation was urged by Ukraine to examine 27 Russian defense systems and equipments. Among the examined equipments NXP chips were found in 10 of the 27 weapon systems. These NXP microchips have been found in Russian missiles, helicopters, Russian drones and howitzers, in addition to Iranian attack drones, the report claimed quoting NOS report. However, both companies said they comply with all sanctions rules, that they do not do business with Russian firms, and that their clients are forbidden from selling the microchips to Russian organizations. A spokesperson for the Eindhoven-based NXP said that they “vigorously” screen their customers, and follow internal guidelines that are stricter than obligatory rules under the sanctions.
A spokesperson is quoted from Nexperia in the NL Times report saying that the resale of computer chips to third parties “cannot always be controlled or prevented by us.” The company said they use software to monitor the distribution chain involving their chips. Anyone found violating sanctions is cut off from future supplies. Responding to the concern the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs told that “The Netherlands is very concerned about this and, together with the European Union and other EU countries, is looking for effective ways to prevent this and to tackle brokering”. Notably the travel of these Microchips all the way from Dutch manufacturers to Russian defence equipments could ultimately affect the Russia-Ukraine conflict.