Several banks in Armenia, Kazakhstan and Hong Kong are blocking payments from Russian importers for supplies of electronic equipment, Kommersant reported on Wednesday, citing market sources.
According to the business news outlet, over the past two weeks an increasing number of transactions involving deliveries of servers, microcircuits, processors and other electronics to entities in Russia have been blocked. One source noted that payments have also been blocked for deliveries of the latest telecommunications equipment and data storage systems.
Industry experts have linked the trend to the latest Western sanctions on Russia. The measures threaten action against any entities perceived to be aiding Russia in evading previously applied restrictions, including the acquisition of high-end electronic components.
“Some [importers] have faced problems paying for components and other electronics through Hong Kong banks,” Vitaly Mankevich, head of the Russian-Asian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, told Kommersant. He added that according to partners in Hong Kong, “the situation with payments is difficult due to sanctions pressure.”
Mankevich noted there were also instances of Armenian banks rejecting payments, but said a number of Russian importers have started to use “alternate ways” to conduct financial transfers, without elaborating.
Banks in Kazakhstan have also tightened controls over transactions involving deliveries to Russia in general and sanctioned products, including electronics, in particular, according to Georgy Vlastopulo, head of logistics company Optimalog.
“It is impossible to buy components, spare parts, computers, etc. directly from the manufacturing country, and it is more and more difficult to buy through third countries, so in six months or a year we may face a deficit of sanctioned products,” Vlastopulo warned.
Moscow has repeatedly stated that the loss of foreign suppliers should be considered an opportunity for Russian producers, rather than a problem. In April, Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed that “our domestic manufacturers received unique opportunities for development and we must take advantage of them.”
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