Russia buys bearings for armored vehicles from India
The National Agency on Corruption Prevention has included the Indian company CK Birla Group in the list of international war sponsors.
According to their reports, the reason was that CK Birla Group and its subsidiary National Engineering Industries Limited (NEI) (NBC Bearings brand) were helping the Russian defense industry to replace critical European and American parts for military equipment – bearings.
Bearings are an essential part for many types of equipment, such as tanks, other armored and tracked vehicles, as well as aviation.
In addition, they are necessary for the functioning of the railway – the main method of Russian military supply and all Russian logistics in general.
Despite the apparent simplicity of this part, the Russians are unable to produce bearings of sufficient quality and in sufficient quantity.
In 2020 alone, Russia imported bearings worth $419 million, and 55% of that volume came from European and North American countries, and for the first time from Germany – 16%.
After the large-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, European and American bearing manufacturers left the Russian market.
Due to the lack of those parts, the main tank-building and tank-repair enterprises of the Russian Federation reached a complete halt. Significant problems arose during the construction of aircraft, ships, submarines and maintenance of trains.
According to the National Agency on Corruption Prevention, one of the companies that decided to help the Russian defense industry in building and rebuilding the Russian army was the CK Birla Group and its bearing brand NBC Bearings.
Thus, according to customs data, for the period from April 2022 to March 2023, the share of NBC Bearings in the import of bearings from India to Russia was at 38.4%, for a total amount of $12.3 million.
The main buyer in Russia was the group of companies European Bearing Corporation – a Russian industrial conglomerate whose products were actively used in the process of manufacturing locomotives, aviation, missile systems and other military equipment.
Another subsidiary of the CK Birla Group, which makes Ultratech cement, has already been in the sanctions news by buying coal from Russia’s Siberian Coal Energy Company in yuan to circumvent dollar sanctions.
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