China’s manufacturing equipment sales to Russia fuels its weapons production

Before the war against Ukraine, Russia actively produced its weapons and ammunition using mostly imported machinery, mainly suppliers from Japan, Germany, Italy, South Korea, and other technologically advanced countries. However, with the beginning of the Russian invasion to Ukraine, importers halted the exports of machinery to Russia. Thus, Russia was forced to seek the substitution options from China, which eventually became the main supplier of Russia in this regard. The aforementioned conclusions are made on the basis of the report by The Jamestown Foundation’s article.

According to the Jamestown Publication, in 2023 Russians became almost entirely dependent on Chinese metalworking machines, which are used for weapons and ammunition manufacturing. According to the chart attached herein, the export of such machines from China to Russia in 2023 increased more than three times. In monetary terms, the export amounts rose from $165 million in 2021 to $943 million in 2023.

The imported components from China include metalworking machines as well as accessories to it such as dividing heads, working tool holders, self-opening heads for machines etc.

Therefore, one logical conclusion arises: the Russian defense industry is almost entirely dependent on imported goods, primarily from China.

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