Russian rail sector seeks way out of sanction pressure

The Russian rail sector is seeking a way out of sanction pressure. It is noticing the shortage of spare parts ever more, and Russian Railways organised a meeting to get input from market players. Sanction evasion, domestic production and flexible legislation are all options to counter the growing problems.
At a meeting in Novosibirsk, Russia’s third largest city in the heart of Siberia, representatives from the Russian rail sector met to discuss the growing shortage of spare parts.

The core of the problem concerns microprocessor systems, which are important for the safety of the rail network, according to the Russian Chamber of Commerce (CoC). Sanctions are forcing Russia to replace these components. The CoC calls for domestic industry to produce these components themselves in pursuit of rail autarky.

Imports and domestic production

Domestic production has become all the more necessary, as the CoC points out that the Russian rail sector is now “sharply” starting to feel the lack of components. No less than 90 per cent of all spare parts need to be imported.

A strategy needs to be devised, says the CoC. The question to be answered is which parts can be produced domestically, and which ones have to be imported. For those spare parts that need to be imported, Russia should maintain contacts with various countries to prevent dependence on a single partner, an attendant of the meeting argued.

Sanction evasion information centre

The rail sector now wants a sanction evasion information centre. A representative of the CoC concurred. According to him, the Chamber of Commerce continuously works with business councils, foreign representatives and the EAEU to solve the shortage issues. “You tell us what you need, which products are necessary, and then we will find partners for you”, he says.

Lastly, the rail sector laments the fact that other modalities have had their environmental regulations relaxed by the Kremlin. It now wants the same, in order to make domestic spare parts production easier. Similarly, it dislikes the fact that rolling stock age determines its safety. Rather, it would like for usage time to be the leading indicator, which would allow for rolling stock to be used much longer without replacement.

The sector criticises the current rules as a Western import product: “This criterion is no different from the made-up rules of the collective West, led by the USA, concerning national airliners”, they say. “Thankfully, they were cancelled by a decision of the Russian authorities.”

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