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22 Jul, 2022 08:33

EU avoids sanctions on Russian titanium – WSJ

The bloc fears it could lose crucial supplies for Airbus
EU avoids sanctions on Russian titanium – WSJ

The EU has blocked a proposal to impose sanctions on Russian titanium producer VSMPO-AVISMA, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Thursday.

According to the report, the decision was made after France and other EU members raised concerns over a potential Russian retaliatory ban on titanium exports.

VSMPO-AVISMA is the world’s largest manufacturer of titanium and titanium alloy products, which are widely used in aircraft production, from the airframe and engine parts to landing gear. The Russian metals company is a critical supplier of titanium to EU-based Airbus, the biggest commercial jet maker in the world, and the loss of deliveries from Russia would be a major blow.

Last month, the airplane maker publicly called for the EU to refrain from imposing sanctions on Russian imports of the metal. According to consulting firm AlixPartners, roughly 65% of Airbus’ titanium comes from Russia.

VSMPO-AVISMA is partly owned by Russian space and aviation corporation Rostec (25% plus 1 share), and it supplies products to more than 450 companies in 50 countries, including Boeing, Airbus, Embraer, and Rolls-Royce.

Earlier this year, Rolls-Royce announced that it would temporarily stop purchasing Russian titanium in connection with the conflict in Ukraine and Western sanctions on Moscow. However, media later reported that Rolls-Royce did not terminate the current contract, and deliveries could resume at any time, citing sources within the company. Later, US plane maker Boeing also announced it would suspend purchases of titanium from VSMPO-AVISMA, saying it intends to reorient “to other markets and directions.”

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