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US imposes sanctions on zone producing Russian versions of Iranian-made Shahed UAVs

Friday, 23 February 2024, 17:54
US imposes sanctions on zone producing Russian versions of Iranian-made Shahed UAVs
Alabuga Special Economic Zone. Photo: Wikipedia

The large-scale sanctions package announced by the United States against Russia includes measures against the Alabuga Special Economic Zone (SEZ), where Russia has established production of its versions of Iranian-made Shahed loitering munitions.

Source: European Pravda, citing the US Department of the Treasury

Details: The sanctioned network of companies has reportedly "facilitated shipments, conducted financial transactions, and engaged in industrial production in support of this cooperation between Russia and Iran to produce one-way attack UAVs for use by the Russian military in Ukraine, including against critical infrastructure and other civilian targets".


Since the end of 2022, the Alabuga SEZ in Russia's Republic of Tatarstan has been cooperating with the Ministry of Defence and Logistics of the Iranian Armed Forces to localise the production of Shahed loitering munitions (the name of the Russian version is Geran).

The sanctions targeted the legal entity of this special economic zone, the Iranian ministry, the Russian manufacturer of reconnaissance drones Albatros, the company that produces parts for drones Drake, and their key officials.

The US sanctions list also mentions a range of entities that have entered into contractual agreements with the Alabuga SEZ and facilitated its financial transactions. Notably, the European Union imposed sanctions on Alabuga in December 2023.

The US Department of the Treasury has separately imposed sanctions on dozens of Russian companies engaged in arms production, 3D printing, manufacturing of machine tools and parts for military equipment, chemical components, semiconductors, electronics, optical devices, navigation components, etc.

Background: US President Joe Biden announced that the United States is imposing over 500 sanctions on Russia and new export restrictions on nearly 100 organisations ahead of the second anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine (24 February) and following the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

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