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Some of the 18 helicopters handed over to the Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa from the government of Russsia in Harare,Zimbabwe,18 May 2023.The helicopters are part of the government's public private partnership with the Russian Federation Six of the helicopters are for air policing and 12 others for air search and rescue in cases of natural disasters such as cyclones, which will be the first in Zimbabwe enabled through a private-public partnership arrangement with Russian firm, Russian State Corporation (Rostec).

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Rostec helicopter deal in crosshairs of US sanctions

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ZIMBABWE, which is under United States sanctions, has received 18 helicopters from a sanctioned Russian state entity, Rostec, for air medical services, law enforcement, as well as search-and-rescue operations, but aviation experts immediately raised concern whether the country will be able to get service kits given that the hardware is powered by an engine made by one of America’s biggest defence companies.

OWEN GAGARE

Rostec is also sanctioned by Canada, the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa received the Kazan Ansat helicopters — the first of a fleet of 32 — at Robert Mugabe International Airport on Wednesday.

The helicopters are powered by engines from Pratt & Whitney Canada, an entity which is part of Raytheon, one of the biggest US defence companies. It is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft and helicopter engines, and auxiliary power units.

The company has 16 000 customers on its books and its engines are operating in more than 200 countries and territories.

The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (Ofac) on 28 June 2022 designated 70 entities, many of which are critical to the Russian Federation’s defence industrial base, including Rostec, considered the cornerstone of Russia’s defence, industrial, technology and manufacturing sectors.

Ofac introduced the measures in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in on 24 February 2022.

“We once again reaffirm our commitment to working alongside our partners and allies to impose additional severe sanctions in response to Russia’s war against Ukraine,” said secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen as she announced the sanctions.

“Broad multilateral commitments and actions by G7 members this week further cut off the Russian Federation’s access to technology that is critical to their military. Targeting Russia’s defense industry will degrade Putin’s capabilities and further impede his war against Ukraine, which has already been plagued by poor morale, broken supply chains, and logistical failures.”

The measures were taken in tandem with the US Department of State, which imposed sanctions on an additional 45 entities and 29 individuals. Rostec is a massive state-owned enterprise formed to consolidate Russia’s technological, aerospace, and military-industrial expertise. It is a holding company whose subsidiaries are engaged in a wide range of industries, including automotive, defence, aviation, and metals.

In addition to leading Russia’s domestic defence production, Rostec also facilitates foreign trade in defense and related materiel as well as civilian and dual-purpose products. Rostec’s management umbrella includes more than 800 entities across a wide range of sectors.

All entities owned 50% or more, directly or indirectly, by Rostec are affected by the measures.

Some of the 18 helicopters handed over to the Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa from the government of Russsia in Harare,Zimbabwe,18 May 2023.The helicopters are part of the government’s public private partnership with the Russian Federation Six of the helicopters are for air policing and 12 others for air search and rescue in cases of natural disasters such as cyclones, which will be the first in Zimbabwe enabled through a private-public partnership arrangement with Russian firm, Russian State Corporation (Rostec).

Company profile . . .

RUSSIAN State Corporation (Rostec) is a state-owned enterprise formed to consolidate Russia’s technological, aerospace, and military-industrial expertise.

The firm, which is under United States sanctions, is a holding company whose subsidiaries are engaged in a wide range of industries, including automotive, defense, aviation, and metals.

The company is also Russia’s defence-industrial base.

In addition to leading Russia’s domestic defense production, Rostec also facilitates foreign trade in defense and related materiel as well as civilian and dual-purpose products.

Rostec’s management umbrella includes more than 800 entities across a wide range of sectors.

The company is one of the 70 entities placed under the sanctions by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (Ofac) for developing and deploying weapons and technology used for Vladimir Putin’s brutal war of aggression against Ukraine.

Rostec was designated for operating or having operated in the defence and related materiel sector of the Russian Federation economy. As a result, all entities owned 50% or more, directly or indirectly, by Rostec are blocked, even if not identified by Ofac.

The company is also sanctioned by Australia, Canada, the European Union (EU), New Zealand, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom (UK).

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