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US firm halts 'dual-use' technology exports to Rusnano

Published time: August 19, 2014 14:52
Edited time: August 19, 2014 19:22
Anatoly Chubais, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Executive Board, RUSNANO Corporation (RIA Novosti / Grigoriy Sisoev)

Anatoly Chubais, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Executive Board, RUSNANO Corporation (RIA Novosti / Grigoriy Sisoev)

Economic bridges continue to burn in the US-Russia sanctions standoff, with the latest casualty being US firm Applied Materials, which can no longer export IT equipment to Russia’s nanotechnology giant Rusnano.

According to Rusnano CEO Anatoly Chubais, Russia has already found an alternative source for the technology (mostly memory MRAM) in China and other markets.

“This is an example where we were able to quickly find a solution so work at the plant wasn’t disrupted,” Chubais told ITAR-TASS.

The state-owned tech company said it will look east, and try to better plan investments.

“Generally speaking, we need to refocus on the Asian capital markets. I hope, we’ll be able to show some results this year,” Chubais said.

On Monday, the head of the Russian Ministry of Communications announced on Twitter that Russia is seeking closer technology ties with China, and will begin to import memory and servers instead of the US, which banned the export of certain technology products that can also be used for military in their latest round of sanctions.

No more money from Europe

New lending sanctions from the EU are also forcing the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to pull $100 million investment from Rusnano.

“It was planned the EBRD’s investment would total over $100 million. Naturally, these plans cannot be implemented in the current situation, which will almost surely affect the final results of attracting private investment,” the Rusnano chief said, as quoted by ITAR-TASS.

Sanctions have forced the EBRD to freeze other Russian loans. In 2013, investment in Russia from the London-based EBRD amounted to $2.5 billion.

Away from America

In July, the Russian media reported that US sanctions caused foreign telecoms hardware makers like Cisco Systems and Jupiter Networks to lose customers, especially within the Russian government, which like China is pushing to domesticate telecoms to lower the risk of espionage.

American industrial giant Alcoa has also temporarily abandoned plans to establish a joint venture with Rusnano. The two partners had agreed to produce nano-coated drill pipes in the Samara region.

The project will still go ahead as planned, Chubais said, but investment and partnership with Alcoa is on hold until a later stage.

The $10 billion enterprise set up in 2007 specializes in start-up science and technology projects.