An article from Diplomatic Courier on 30th October is concerned with titanium, which it says is a critical material for aerospace and military industries worldwide, and is vital in other industries such as healthcare and technology.  In particular, titanium sponge is a material used to create parts such as alloys and ingots for aircrafts, spacecrafts, missiles, and other machinery.  Production of the metal is in 6 countries (China, Russia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, India), with Russia being a dominant leader in titanium exports.  It says that Ukraine’s major titanium manufacturers are United Mining and Chemical Company (UMCC) and Zaporozhye Titanium and Magnesium Combine (ZTMC).  UMCC exports industrial materials to more than 30 countries, including the EU and the US; and ZTMC is the only producer of of titanium sponge in Europe.  Both of these entities are on the list of government-approved companies to be privatised in 2018.  It notes that a named oligarch has connections to both companies and to Russia, and has been named in the past in connection with alleged bribery in India, is under house arrest in Austria and is facing extradition to the US.  The article says that this situation representative of a bigger issue of billionaire oligarchs pulling the strings and leveraging their power in Ukraine’s markets.  Furthermore, officials at UMCC were allegedly  involved in an embezzlement scheme in 2018.

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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