By Robert Zargarian

YEREVAN (Azatutyun) — The United States has added a Russian-owned firm registered in Armenia to its list of entities accused of helping Russia evade US sanctions imposed since the invasion of Ukraine.

The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) blacklisted on April 12 more than 100 people and entities it said have violated US export controls and helped Russia’s war effort. The sanctions bar US companies and individuals from any dealings with them and also freeze any assets the latter may hold in US jurisdiction.

The newly blacklisted entities include, TAKO LLC, a little-known company registered in Armenia in May last year about three months after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine.

According to the Armenian state registry, TAKO is fully owned by a Russian national, Vadim Verkhovtsev, and specializes in wholesale trade in electronic and telecommunications equipment and parts. No other details of its operations are known.

TAKO’s registration address matches that of an office building in Yerevan. The building administration told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service on Friday that the company rented an office there until last fall.

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The OFAC said that TAKO has cooperated with the Russian company Radioavtomatika regarded by it as a supplier of electronic items to Russia’s defense industry. The US sanctioned Radioavtomatika last year.

TAKO is the first Armenia-based entity known to have been blacklisted by Washington in connection with the sweeping sanctions against Moscow. The development follows a series of meetings during which US officials apparently pressed the Armenian government to comply with the sanctions.

US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo discussed the issue with Armenia’s Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan in Washington on April 11. According to the US Treasury Department, Adeyemo “highlighted the United States’ global efforts to prevent evasion of US sanctions and export controls imposed on Russia.”

In a joint “compliance note” issued this month, the US departments of Justice, Treasury and Commerce said that third-party intermediaries have commonly used China, Armenia, Turkey and Uzbekistan as “transshipment points” to Russia as well as Belarus.

Russian-Armenian trade skyrocketed last year, with Armenian exports to Russia nearly tripling to $2.4 billion. Goods manufactured in third countries and re-exported from Armenia to Russia are believed to have accounted for most of that gain.

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