EU stays away from Russian titanium sanctions - WSJ

Updated: Jul 23

The bloc is concerned it may lose vital supply for Airbus.




The Russian titanium firm VSMPO-AVISMA was the target of a proposal to impose penalties, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), which was published on Thursday.


The decision, according to the newspaper, was made in response to concerns expressed by France and other EU members on a potential Russian retaliatory ban on titanium exports.


The largest producer of titanium and titanium alloy products in the world, including the airframe, engine components, and landing gear, is VSMPO-AVISMA. The loss of deliveries from Russia would be a severe setback because the Russian metals industry is a crucial supplier of titanium to the largest commercial jet manufacturer in the world, Airbus, which is based in the EU.


The manufacturer of aircraft demanded last month that the EU refrain from implementing penalties on Russian shipments of the metal. Russian titanium accounts for about 65 percent of Airbus' titanium, according to consultancy firm AlixPartners.


VSMPO-AVISMA is a supplier of goods to more than 450 businesses in 50 countries, including Boeing, Airbus, Embraer, and Rolls-Royce. Rostec, a Russian space and aviation organisation, owns a 25 percent plus one share stake in the company.


Rolls-Royce declared earlier this year that it will temporarily cease acquiring Russian titanium due to the crisis in the Ukraine and Western sanctions against Moscow. Later, however, according to sources within the company, Rolls-Royce did not end the existing contract and deliveries could begin at any time. Later, US aircraft manufacturer Boeing made a similar announcement, saying it will stop buying titanium from VSMPO-AVISMA in order to "reorient to other markets and directions."


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