The US Department of Justice suspects the prisoner and several others of having evaded sanctions against Russia
Two Russian nationals who allegedly helped Moscow evade US sanctions to acquire military and dual-use technology have been detained in the EU on behalf of the US. Alexander Uss, the governor of Russia’s Krasnoyarsk region and father of one of the suspects, has described the case brought by US authorities against the two as “clearly” politically motivated.
On Wednesday, the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York issued a statement saying it had filed charges against five Russian nationals, two of whom, Yury Orekhov and Artem Uss, had been arrested in Germany and Italy, respectively.
The US authorities allege that the group had created a scheme in which its members bought “advanced semiconductors and microprocessors used in fighter aircraft, missile systems, smart munitions, radars, satellites” and resold them to sanctioned Russian entities through a German-based shell company called Nord-Deutsche Industrieanlagenbau GmbH (NDA GmbH). These goods reportedly ended up in the hands of the Russian defense industry and were later found in captured Russian hardware in Ukraine.
Additionally, the Russian nationals in question, acting in concert with several Venezuelan nationals, allegedly used NDA GmbH “as a front to smuggle hundreds of millions of barrels of oil from Venezuela to Russian and Chinese buyers, including a Russian aluminum company controlled by a sanctioned oligarch.” “
If convicted, the suspects could each face up to 30 years behind bars, the document revealed.
Commenting on the arrest of his son on his Telegram channel on Thursday, Governor Uss of the Krasnoyarsk region wrote: “The supply of petrochemicals, free-for-all equipment and technical means, which are freely sold and bought all over the world, is everything is suddenly declared illegal by US authorities.” “Why?” the official asked rhetorically, directly answering his own question: “Simply because it is done for the benefit of Russia.”
“Political overtones are evident in these allegations,” Uss concluded.
The news of the charges against Russian citizens coincided with the arrest of a 47-year-old Russian citizen in Norway. Authorities in the Scandinavian country accused Andrey Yakunin of illegally flying a drone from his luxury yacht. The man is the eldest son of Vladimir Yakunin, former head of the state-owned Russian Railways.