Canada Grants Airbus Waiver to Use Russian Titanium Despite Sanctions

The Canadian government has granted European aerospace giant Airbus (EPA: AIR) a temporary waiver to continue using Russian titanium in its manufacturing operations, despite recently imposing sanctions on the key Russian titanium producer VSMPO-AVISMA Corporation.

The waiver comes after Canada became the first Western nation to ban the import of Russian titanium as part of its latest package of measures against Moscow over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The lightweight metal is a critical component in the production of aircraft and other defense equipment.

Airbus, which operates manufacturing facilities in Ontario and Quebec, confirmed it had obtained the necessary authorization from Ottawa to continue using Russian titanium and remain compliant with the sanctions regime. However, the company did not disclose the duration of the waiver.

Ukrainian Ambassador to Canada Yuliya Kovaliv expressed dismay at the decision, and said that allowing Western companies to continue using Russian titanium is effectively “feeding the Kremlin’s war machine.” She pointed out that Russia’s titanium exports have generated billions of dollars for Moscow, surpassing the combined military and economic aid provided by Canada to Ukraine since the full-scale invasion began.

Two unidentified senior Canadian government sources cited by The Globe and Mail emphasized that the waiver is temporary and that the government hopes Airbus will eventually transition away from Russian-sourced titanium and turn to alternative suppliers in countries like China, Japan, and Kazakhstan.

One of the sources also indicated that the sanctions on VSMPO-AVISMA had “unforeseen effects” on Canada’s aerospace industry, potentially impacting jobs.

Airbus’ rival Boeing had previously severed ties with the Russian titanium giant shortly after the invasion of Ukraine, while Airbus had pledged to decouple from Russian titanium within “a matter of months, not years” by the end of 2022.

Information for this story was found via Reuters, CBC News, The Globe and Mail, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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