Haas denies helping Russia to make weapons

Thu, 16 March 2023, 07:00

Mar.16 (GMM) Gene Haas, owner of the American Formula 1 team that bears his name, has found himself at the centre of a controversy relating to the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

That is despite the fact that team boss Gunther Steiner ousted both Nikita Mazepin and his Putin-linked father Dmitry from the F1 team at the outbreak of the concept over a year ago.

“I don’t need any of this,” Steiner was heard saying in Drive To Survive.

“I’m done with Russians until I go from this planet.”

But Newshour, an evening news program on the American public broadcaster PBS, alleges that 70-year-old Gene Haas’ machine tool company Haas Automation may in fact be in violation of sanctions designed to “choke Russia’s war effort against Ukraine”.

Correspondent Simon Ostrovsky said a key Russian weapons manufacturer RATEP builds guidance systems for anti-aircraft weapons “using equipment made by California-based industrial manufacturing giant Haas Automation”.

Citing US government documents, he said the relationship “may represent a breach of American sanctions”.

“We were surprised that, even now, one year after the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion, Haas Automation is continuing its direct shipments to Russia,” said Denys Hutyk, who is on Ukraine’s economic security council.

PBS also alleges that Haas actually supplies “multiple Russian weapons manufacturers” with similar machines.

Haas Automation denies the charges.

“Haas no longer supplies machines, replacement parts, or anything else to any companies in Russia,” said vice-president Peter Zierhut. “Statements to the contrary are false.”

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