Taiwan emerges as key supplier of machine tools to Russia, investigation shows

Taiwan, January 3
Taiwan, January 3

After nearly two years of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Taiwan has emerged as the prime supplier of metalworking machine tools to Russia, according to a joint investigation by The Reporter from Taiwan and Russia's The Insider, published on Jan. 26.

With Germany, Japan, and Switzerland leaving the Russian market, and Chinese products falling short in quality, Taiwan's machining centers, lathes, and electrical welding machines have filled the supply gap essential for Russia's defense industry.

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The journalists note that these machine tools are essential for producing detonators, high-precision weapons, and other military equipment. Despite sanctions imposed by Taiwan, these tools still reach Russia through intermediaries like Turkey, and certain machine types are not subject to export restrictions.

Metalworking equipment represents a significant segment of Taiwan's exports, with Russia as a key trading partner.

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Data from Russian customs indicate that from March to September of 2023, Russia imported no fewer than 193 Taiwanese machining complexes worth almost $29 million.

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A closer look at the data concerning transit through Turkey reveals an even more worrying trend: nearly half of industrial machinery Russia imported from Turkey by September 2023 were of Taiwanese origin.

While most of the high-precision machinery for military technology is manufactured in the EU, Switzerland, Japan, and the United States, Taiwan also produces a range of high-quality alternatives, including precise welding machines and various grinding and lathing equipment.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine