A Belgian company that manufactures machinery for ammunition production has been banned from exporting to Serbia on suspicion of violating sanctions on shipments to Russia.
Authorities in Belgium’s Wallonia region told AFP that an export license ban had been imposed on the New Lachaussee-based company, confirming information first reported by public broadcaster RTBF.
The company was suspected of violating EU sanctions imposed in 2014 when Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula by shipping its machinery to Russia through a middleman in Serbia.
The head of the Walloon government, Elio Di Rupo, has taken the decision to suspend New Lachaussee’s current export licenses “with immediate effect” because of the “risk” of sanctions violations, his office said.
The RTBF report on the company’s activities quoted a former employee of the German office of auditing group KPMG, which investigated New Lahaussee’s activities after 2014.
The former employee was quoted as saying that the Belgian company maintained its trade relations with Russia despite EU sanctions against Moscow, in particular by setting up two production lines in Serbia that produced ammunition of “the same caliber” needed by the Russian military.
Serbia maintains close relations with Russia and has not imposed sanctions on Russia for its aggression against Ukraine.
For this reason, concerns have been raised about its proximity to Russia and its departure from the West at a crucial time for deciding its direction.