American aircraft maker Boeing announced today that it has stopped buying titanium from Russia. The company will use alternative suppliers and existing inventories for the production of airplanes.
Boeing has a longstanding joint venture with Russian titanium supplier VSMPO-AVISMA. Its chairman, Sergey Chemezov, a member of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, has been sanctioned by the United States.
Boeing did not comment on the current or future state of its joint venture with VSMPO-AVISMA.
“We have suspended purchasing titanium from Russia. Our inventory and diversity of titanium sources provide sufficient supply for airplane production, and we will continue to take the right steps to ensure long-term continuity.”
Last week, the company halted all work with or for Russian airlines as well as its Moscow operations.
Sanctions against Putin and oligarchs
Since Russia invaded Ukraine twelve days ago, hundreds of companies across the globe have stopped doing business in or with Russia. Vladimir Putin and his cronies, referred to in the media as oligarchs, have been targeted with economic sanctions by the US, UK, European Union, Australia, Canada, and other allies.
An oligarch, in this context, is an extremely rich Russian business leader with considerable political influence. An oligarchy is a country, institution, or organization that is controlled by a small group of powerful individuals.
Authorities in France, Italy, the UK, and the US have seized the assets of several Russian oligarchs, including some mega-luxury yachts.
Economic sanctions are restriction which a country or group of allies impose on another nation. It is seen as a form of punishment which aims to persuade that country to change its policy or withdraw its soldiers.
Boeing supports Ukrainian people
Boeing has committed $2 million to support the humanitarian response in Ukraine. Dave Calhoun, Boeing President and CEO, said:
“The conflict unfolding in Ukraine is leading to a significant humanitarian emergency, and Boeing will take action to support the Ukrainian people. Our thoughts are with all those who have been thrust into the midst of this crisis.”
“While we work to ensure the safety of Boeing employees in the region, our hope is that this assistance package will help deliver some much-needed support to those who are displaced and suffering.”