Cabinet wants to take action against “creeping” export of microchips to Russia

Cabinet wants to take action against “creeping” export of microchips to Russia

The government is urging Dutch microchip manufacturers to do more to prevent their chips from ending up in Russia. Minister Hoekstra (Foreign Affairs) said that in response to NOS/Nieuwsuur’s investigation into the flow of microchips into Russia, it was also examining whether intelligence services could assist in cracking down on agents.

Despite the sanctions, these products still go to Russian importers through intermediaries, the joint investigation editorial emerged last week. Some of these companies are related to the Russian defense industry.

Dutch companies like NXP and Nexperia no longer export to Russia. But millions of microchips get there, mostly through Chinese intermediaries. It is “strange” that it is not possible to completely cancel deliveries to Russia, according to Hoekstra. In response to the reports, customs contacted Dutch manufacturers.

“More is possible”

In the House of Representatives, Hoekstra is urging companies to look at what happens to their chips after they leave the factory. “I believe companies are already doing a lot, but I also believe more is possible.” Then it considers the contractual terms that manufacturers must accept if their customers want to buy chips.

Chips of two Dutch companies were found on Russian weapons in Ukraine. Moscow urgently needs electrical components for the production of weapons and vehicles used in the war against Ukraine.

parliamentary criticism

The cabinet says it is working hard to start providing microchips to Russia. Still, a few groups were critical. For example, MP Van der Lee (GroenLinks) wondered if both the companies and the Cabinet were doing enough. Bundestag member Hammelburg (D66) emphasized that this is not just about a trade conflict, but about cruise missiles falling on Ukrainian roofs.

Brekelmans of the VVD suggested involving the secret services in the fight against dubious brokers abroad. Minister Hoekstra said the cabinet will look into the matter. Intelligence agencies can help track down those who violate sanctions laws while hiding behind various companies.

Hoekstra warned that not all member states in the EU are enthusiastic about such measures. The fact that all member states have to agree on a decision does not make it any easier to solve the problem.

Penalties Against Brokers

Still, Hoekstra wants the EU to raise the bar. He hopes that Chinese intermediaries will also be included in the upcoming package of sanctions against Russia. From the Minister’s point of view, the various customs authorities in Member States should start to exchange more information with each other and with companies.

NXP and Nexperia said last week that they are doing everything they can to fix the problem. They say they comply with all regulations and no longer do business with Russia. Still, the two companies cannot rule out the possibility of their products reaching Russia via detour.

Source: NOS