Kazakh and Kyrgyz firms have organized channels for the smuggling of timber products from sanctioned Belarus

The Belarusian Investigative Center revealed the scheme (https://investigatebel.org/ru/investigations/belaruski-les-abyhodzic-sankcyi-pa-falshyvyh-dakumentah) in partnership with colleagues.

Belarusian timber exports in March 2022 fell under EU sanctions and were almost reset — fell 30 times. At the same time, the supply of these products from Kazakhstan (74 times) and Kyrgyzstan (18 thousand times) increased sharply. The scheme is based on the production of false documents — goods are still being transported from Belarus via Poland and Latvia, but allegedly with origin from Central Asia.

Of course, this scheme in no way compensates for the loss of foreign exchange earnings by Belarus (more than $2 billion). The volumes of supplies discovered by the investigators are approx. 30 million euros. This is more the criminal activity of individual businessmen than state policy. But the situation is very characteristic. The authorities of the Central Asian countries should not turn a blind eye to such illegal channels of re—export of “sanctions” – otherwise they risk getting a big problem with the EU.