US blacklists two Estonian companies for supplying Russia with prohibited electronics

The United States Department of Commerce has blacklisted two Russian-led Estonian companies, Eastline Technologies and Adimir, for supplying electronics prohibited for export to Russia from the US.

The Department of Commerce Office of Export Enforcement confirmed to Estonian World that Eastline Technologies and Adimir were added to the Denied Parties List on 26 September 2018. Both these companies are based in the Estonian capital, Tallinn.

According to the Office of Export Enforcement, the companies have been blacklisted on a temporary basis, for 180 days.

“Eastline … describes itself as a distributor of electronic parts and components, computer-related products, industrial personal computers and embedded systems, equipment for industrial automation, and other state-of-the-art solutions,” the order of temporarily denying export privileges says. “The company holds an Estonian business license and has two addresses in Tallinn identified in registration documents. Eastline is operated primarily for the purpose of procuring electronic components, including those of U.S. origin.”

The order also blacklisted a Moscow-based company by the name of Real Components, as a related person, and also two individuals – Valery Kosmachov and Sergey Vetrov – who are the ex-owners of Eastline Technologies.

Required a licence

“Kosmachov and Vetrov were listed as co-owners of Eastline until late 2016. The company is currently listed as being solely owned by Valeria Mihhailova, whom OEE has reason to believe is Kosmachov’s daughter,” the order says. “Evidence presented by OEE indicates that both Kosmachov and Vetrov remain active in the business, as well as that Kosmachov also has previously represented that Eastline partners with Real Components, which is located in Moscow, Russia, is owned by Vetrov, and is Eastline’s primary customer in Russia.”

According to the US government order, Kosmachov also has previously identified himself as being the sole owner of Adimir, an Estonian company. “Adimir shares the same business addresses as Eastline. Adimir is known to have previously been involved in the transshipment and attempted transshipment of U.S.-origin items to Russia in apparent violation of the US regulations,” the order points out.

Specifically, these companies are accused of buying gate arrays in the US and delivering them to Russia via Estonia and Finland, even though this activity requires a licence under the US law. A gate array is a specific engineering design for printed circuit boards. Gate arrays are part of the overall infrastructure equation for the physical circuit boards that power numerous types of hardware and devices.

From the US to Tallinn to Helsinki to Russia

Kosmachov was interviewed by the US government in July 2015. According to the US government order, Kosmachov stated that 99% of Eastline’s business was in electronic components and that its primary customers are in Russia. Kosmachov told the US government that he chose to do business in Estonia because “it was easier to get electronics into Estonia than it was into Russia”. He also stated that US companies were “easier to deal with as a European company, rather than as a Russian company”.

Kosmachov also said, according to the US government, that “all Eastline’s shipments to Russia go across the Tallinn-Helsinki ferry to Helsinki and then across the Finnish-Russian border” because it was “cheaper” and took “less time” than shipping directly from Estonia to Russia.

Even though two of these companies have been registered in Tallinn, it’s not clear which country’s citizenship Kosmachov and Vetrov hold.

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Cover: Gate arrays are part of the overall infrastructure equation for the physical circuit boards that power numerous types of hardware and devices (the image is illustrative/Pexels.com)

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About the author: Sten Hankewitz

Sten Hankewitz is a lifelong journalist and Deputy Editor at Estonian World. Having lived in Estonia, Spain, the UK and all around the US, he now resides in Chicago, IL. He loves to write and besides working at Estonian World and doing some occasional blogging, he writes books and contributes to other outlets in Estonia, Israel and elsewhere. He has strong convictions and he shows them unashamedly. You can follow him on Twitter, like his page on Facebook or check out his personal blog. You can write to Sten at sten@estonianworld.com.