Indian tech company with ties to government sanctioned by Japan for helping Russia evade sanctions

Japan has become the latest country to sanction an Indian tech company for its alleged role in helping Russia evade sanctions imposed due to its war in Ukraine.

The sanctions were part of trade restrictions, including asset freezes, against 11 entities in five countries, including China, Kazakhstan, UAE, and Uzbekistan, on Friday.

This is the first time Japan has imposed sanctions on an Indian company since 1998 and the first time for China-based firms in connection with the war in Ukraine.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan sanctioned the Bengaluru-based firm Si2 Microsystems, which has a complex history, having been banned by the US in November 2023 and sanctioned by the European Union in February 2024.

Si2 Microsystems faced sanctions from the US and the EU for its alleged transport of dual-use technology to Russia. The US Department of Commerce said it was banned “for providing support to Russia’s military and/or defence industrial base” by exporting chips without a license.

The company is a partner of India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras to research the fabrication of chips with silicon photonic processor cores, according to reports.

The Chinese firms hit with sanctions included Hong Kong-based Asia Pacific Links Ltd, which provided microchips for Russian drones, and China-based Yilufa Electronics Limited.

indian tech company with ties to government sanctioned by japan for helping russia evade sanctions

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (L), Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (R) chat before a family photo with G7 heads of the states (AFP via Getty Images)

These sanctions follow Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida’s statement that the government was considering a “new sanction package” for entities based in third countries collaborating with Russia, made during the G7 Summit in Italy.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi held a bilateral meeting with Mr Kishida at the summit, which he attended at the invitation of Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni. The two leaders highlighted the need to advance ties across various strategic sectors, including defence, technology, and semiconductors.

As Russia’s war in Ukraine continued in its third year, India has avoided directly criticised president Vladimir Putin for his invasion of Ukraine due to its close trade and diplomatic ties with Moscow. Delhi has called for an end of hostilities through negotiations and talks.

India was one of the few countries that did not sign a final communique that called on Russia to respect Ukraine’s “territorial integrity” in a peace deal to end the war. India participated in the summit in Switzerland in which 90 countries took part.

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