Western nations have been told they can “cripple Putin’s war machine” by denying Russia access to technology crucial to enabling the mass production of weapons.
Olena Yurchenko, said Russia relies on computer numerical control (CNC) to manufacture missiles, aircraft parts, radar technology and submarines. The automated robotic machines are capable of performing operations according to a given program without direct human intervention, making
Ms Yurchenko, International Relations and Foreign Policy Expert, Senior Analyst at the Economic Security Council of Ukraine, said many CNC machines were manufactured in western countries, including Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
She told Express.co.uk: “According to Russian manufacturers, it is the Russian military-industrial complex enterprises that account for at least 80 percent of the orders they receive.
“Thus, the military industry is perhaps the main consumer of CNC machines.”
Vladimir Putin’s Russia was reliant upon the CNC machine tools and their components and spare parts primarily for the military production, Ms Yurchenko explained.
She added: “These CNC machines process various materials, but mainly metal, with precision, accuracy and efficiency no other means can provide.
“Reliance comes from the exorbitant demand from the military (eg more and more weapons are needed), and the fact Russians cannot produce these CNCs themselves, because it requires huge finances, resources and experience.
“All the components of CNC machines are produced abroad – bearings, CNC software itself, servoconverters, spindles etc.”
Stripped of the supply of CNC machines, Russian military equipment will experience frequent blunders, will be out of control and will “process the material in an insufficient way”, Ms Yurchenko said.
She added: “This, in its turn, causes the slowed production, malfunctioning weaponry system and potentially – deficit of weapons in the army.
“So if the CNC machines are not provided with the new components, this can cripple Putin’s war machine.”
Components for CNCs were frequently smuggled through China, said Ms Yurchenko.
She continued: “The enforcement in the CNC sector is missing. CNC machines are dual use goods – but only a small portion of them.
“The rest of them are free to export, although still can be used in the military production.
“Therefore, expanding the export control list is crucial.”
Even CNC machines controlled by export control bodies were also being supplied to Russia, Ms Yurchenko stressed.
She said: “This is because the export control practices are outdated and ineffective – the certificates of end users are often forged, and the dual use goods are lost in the network of front companies.
“The producers of CNC machine tools cannot be sanctioned, but may be penalised and fined if complicit in export control violation.
“However, these violations are hard to prove, or, to better phrase it, producers can also find the justification and escape justice. That is why the increased liability of manufacturing companies is required.
“As for the intermediary companies in third countries involved in sanctions evasion, the primary and secondary sanctions shall suffice.”
Romanian authorities today confirmed they had found a crater from a suspected drone which may have exploded on impact on its territory near the border with Ukraine, reviving concerns about possible spillover of Russia’s war in Ukraine onto a NATO member country.
The pre-dawn discovery of the crater 1.8 miles west of the village of Plauru, which sits across the Danube River from the Ukrainian port of Izmail, was made after the Romanian Defence Ministry said it detected a series of drones heading towards Ukrainian river ports.