Brussels is reportedly concerned about an uptick in dual-use items being shipped to Central Asia
The EU may introduce trade restrictions on some Central Asian countries over what officials believe is assistance in helping Russia circumvent Western sanctions imposed over its military operation in Ukraine, The Telegraph reported on Friday, citing a confidential paper.
Officials in Brussels who monitor trade flows to Moscow have reportedly detected an increase of up to 80% in turnover of consumer goods between EU member states and Central Asian countries.
The upsurge is reportedly related to EU exports of goods that contain so-called "dual-use" technologies, which have both military and civilian applications. Items of this kind, which include washing machines, used cars, and cameras, are among those the EU has prohibited exporting to Russia.
The bloc will restrict access to its market for Asian nations that are seen as Russia's traditional allies if evidence that goods are being re-exported to the sanction-hit country is found.
Earlier this week, the news organization Eurasianet reported, citing an unnamed government official, that Kazakhstan is planning to start monitoring goods that pass through its borders to demonstrate compliance with Western efforts to isolate Russia's economy. The former Soviet republic will reportedly introduce an online system for tracking all goods entering and exiting the country starting on April 1.
Turkey, Armenia, and the UAE are also under scrutiny by G7 nations for possibly assisting Russia in circumventing Western sanctions.
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