European Union sanctions 19 Chinese firms over links to Russia

The European Union has imposed sanctions on 19 Chinese companies in a bid to punish Western support for Beijing’s support for Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The list, published in the Official Journal of the European Union, includes several Hong Kong-based companies as well as two global satellite giants. The 14th package of sanctions against Russia adds 61 new companies to the list of organizations directly accused of “supporting Russia’s military-industrial complex” in the war in Ukraine, bringing the total to 675 companies.

These companies will now be subject to severe restrictions on sales of “dual-use goods and technology” that can be used to “develop Russia’s defense and security sector.”

China rejects Western accusations that it is supporting Russia’s military campaign.

Among the newly added companies are two major players in China’s satellite industry, both involved in the sale of satellites and satellite imagery to Russia’s Wagner mercenary group. An investigation by AFP revealed that Wagner signed a contract worth more than $30 million with Chinese firm Beijing Yunze Technology Co Ltd in 2022 to buy two satellites and use their images.

The two high-resolution satellites belonged to Chang Guang Satellite Technology, a leading global satellite company, the unit added to the EU sanctions list.

Another company was Head Aerospace Technology, which sold satellite imagery and was placed on the US sanctions list in 2023 for supplying the Wagner Group.

In addition to 19 Chinese companies, nine companies from Turkey, two from Kyrgyzstan, one from India, one from Kazakhstan and one from the United Arab Emirates were added to the list.

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