Exploring the rationale behind Russian export control system

Alessandro Di Simone, Vahid Jafari Sadeghi, Charles Giacoma

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationFeatured article


This paper aims at assessing the peculiarities of Russian export control structure. It addresses technical aspects (i.e., objective profile) on the one side, and qualitative aspects (i.e., subjective profile) on the other side. The objective profile has much to do with Russian participation to Multilateral Export Control Regimes (MECRs). Despite being traditionally stick to best practices established by MECRs in respect to the strategic trade, Russia has kept a slight room for maneuver when it comes to define sensitive items from a national point of view. Moreover, its ambiguous relationship with the Australia Group (a MECR dealing specifically with chemical weapons) is reflected in a sometimes fluffy implementation of the regime’s peculiar control lists. The subjective profile is approached from a geopolitical perspective, as it is ultimately twisted with the legitimacy of the intended end-user of the sensitive item to be traded. The United Nations (UN) still retain the right to tell the good guys from the bad guys, but an ally for a permanent member of the Security Council could be an enemy for another one – with all the consequences that it entails.


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