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Firm making car that Putin gifted to Kim uses South Korean parts, data shows


Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un showcased their strengthened anti-Western alliance by driving around Pyongyang in a Russian-made Aurus limousine, laughing and joking together. The luxury sedan, unveiled in 2018, was meant to symbolize Russia‘s domestic capabilities and reduced reliance on imported technology and goods.
However, customs records reveal that the company building the Aurus cars uses millions of dollars worth of imported parts, many of which come from South Korea, a country Kim has labeled as his nation’s “primary foe”, news agency Reuters reported. These imports show Russia’s ongoing dependence on Western technology as it tries to navigate the Western efforts to isolate it from global supply chains as a consequence of its invasion of Ukraine.
As per the Reuters report, between 2018 and 2023, Russia imported equipment and components worth at least $34 million for assembling Aurus cars and motorcycles. This included car body parts, sensors, programmable controllers, switches, welding equipment, and other components worth nearly $15.5 million from South Korea, as well as parts from China, India, Turkey, Italy, and other EU countries. Foreign supplies for Aurus continued even after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, with goods worth almost $16 million, including $5 million produced in South Korea, imported since February 2022.
Aurus Motors launched official production in Russia’s Tatarstan region in 2021 and plans to start additional production in St Petersburg later this year at Toyota’s former factory, following the exodus of many foreign carmakers from the Russian market since the invasion.

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