Goods from the sanctioned country are reportedly being purchased through third countries
EU countries have continued to snap up large volumes of critical commodities from Russia by importing them via third countries, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday, citing customs data and other documents.
According to the report, commodity trading giant Glencore purchased at least 5,000 tons of copper sheets made by Russia's Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company (UMMC) this year. They were exported from Türkiye to Italy's Port of Livorno in July.
The outlet noted that there is no blanket ban on trading Russian metals. Restrictions, however, have been imposed on certain Russian businessmen and metal producers as part of Western sanctions. The UK and EU placed sanctions on UMMC executives last year, while the US introduced wider restrictions on the company itself this July.
"There is no suggestion that Glencore has breached sanctions. However, the trades underline Europe's dependency on Russia for critical commodities as well as the growing role of Türkiye as a transshipment hub," FT wrote, adding that Dubai has also become a "home to middlemen for importing Russian commodities into Europe."
Glencore reportedly said the shipment was the "final part" of a contract that was in place before the start of the Ukraine conflict, adding that it has undertaken no new business with UMMC since then.
Statistics cited by FT reportedly show that imports of Russian copper by Türkiye have nearly tripled to 159,000 tons in the first seven months of this year compared with the same period of 2022.
Meanwhile, Italy has become Türkiye's largest export destination for copper, growing 3% in 2023, the outlet wrote. Experts suggest that the EU nation was becoming "an integral part of the trade route for Russian copper."
European officials have been raising concerns that trade with Russia through third countries such as Türkiye, China, and the UAE was hampering the effectiveness of Western sanctions.
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