Canada’s National Security Agency says it will investigate reports that a British Columbia-based company’s cutting-edge anti-drone technology was purchased by a Russian university. Defense Minister Bill Blair said on Friday that there may have been a violation of sanctions.
Prime Minister Blair spoke at the opening ceremony of the Halifax International Security Forum.
Ukrainian and Russian media have reported that Vancouver-based Skyscope Technologies’ SkyEye radar detector has been acquired by the Moscow-based Milea Technical University of Russia.
In a statement released online in response to media reports, the company vehemently denied allegations that it had violated the embargo. The company said this is the first time it has heard of its device being used at a Russian university.
Prime Minister Blair said he had seen some reports about the issue on social media, which he said were inaccurate. However, the report attracted the attention of Canadian authorities.
“This is a matter that will be investigated by our law enforcement agencies and national security intelligence agencies,” the minister said in response to a question from a Ukrainian journalist. “In case of violation of the sanctions we have introduced, legal proceedings will be taken.”
Prime Minister Blair quickly added: “I don’t want to get ahead of the investigation and any legal action that may follow.”
“But I want to assure you, this is an issue that we take very seriously…”
The anti-drone system has the ability to detect and recognize more than 330 different types of drones, even at distances of up to 33 kilometers, and can cover an area of 194 square kilometers.
According to media reports from Eastern Europe, the Russian Technical University has purchased three Chinese-made drone guns, lightweight and robust rifle-like systems, to integrate with Canadian-made detectors.
Skycope Technologies Inc. said in a statement that it cannot control the distribution of its products or prevent counterfeiting.
“We hereby declare that we will not provide services to any country or region where Canada has prohibited our services,” the statement said. “Additionally, we do not have distributors in countries that are under embargo.”
The deal to acquire the technology was reportedly facilitated by Russian businessman Maxim Susloparov and was signed by the Eurasian Economic Union (a union of five former Soviet Union countries including Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia) and Moscow. Both were carried out through Techcom, a company based in .
According to reports in Ukraine’s Pravda and Kyiv Independent newspapers, the university submitted a tender to purchase the system in early May and it was delivered in the first week of June.
Russia avoids sanctions on military technology
Although the companies and individuals cited in Eastern European media reports are not on Canada’s sanctions list, the technology is clearly under strict control.
However, many international reports have noted that the Russian government has successfully circumvented high-tech sanctions by using third countries and intermediaries to broker trade in restricted Western technology.
A European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) report last spring said the Kremlin’s preferred route for sanctions-breaking was through Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Kazakhstan.
Meanwhile, a network of shadowy companies in North America trick legitimate companies into selling restricted military and dual-use technology.
Recently, U.S. law enforcement authorities charged two Russian-Canadians living in Montreal and a Brooklyn man with conspiring to evade sanctions by purchasing electronic equipment from U.S. companies and shipping them overseas. Indicted.
US court records accuse Kristina Przyreva, 32, her husband Nikolai Gortsev, 37, and Salimzon Nasridinov, 52, of smuggling, conspiracy to violate sanctions and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. ing.
Records show that while Mr. Gortsev lived in Canada for several years, he purchased American-made electronic components for the Russian military.