Other countries, including every EU member state, exports more products to Russia for use in the military sector than Slovakia, said Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď.
This week it was revealed that Slovakia exported thousands of civilian items to Russia, which were used for the production of supplies for the Russian military, but Bratislava is adamant it is not the only one.
“I have had it documented how much of this material comes from how many countries, and the Slovak Republic is nowhere near those countries in quantity. Surrounding countries, but also other countries such as Germany, Sweden, Italy, and the United States, export much more than Slovakia,” Naď said.
As an example, Naď mentioned the US-made microchips, which were found on Iranian drones.
Speaking about why such goods are still being exported to Russia, Naď said there is no way of stopping the exports of goods that do not fall under sanctions or under the dual-use items category.
Dual-use items include bearings, engines, electronics and machinery used in the production of tyre components and for the production of tanks, armoured vehicles, missile systems or even intercontinental ballistic missile carriers.
Many of these items can be used for both civil and military purposes (dual-use) but were not included in the EU list, which is systematically revised. Bearings, for example, were recently included.
Meanwhile, the minister also noted that Slovak law does not permit the drafting of national dual-use lists to prohibit companies in the country from exporting to Russia.
The only way to prevent materials from the West from ending up with the Russian military is to classify every type of material, excluding food, as a dual-use material, according to the minister.
“It is possible, but it would cause massive problems for the international community,” he added.
(Michal Hudec | EURACTIV.sk)