Airbus urges European leaders not to sanction Russian titanium – EURACTIV.com

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Airbus on Tuesday (April 12th) urged Europe not to block titanium imports from Russia, saying sanctions on the strategic metal would hurt aerospace while barely harming Russia’s economy.

Expanding measures taken after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to include an import ban on titanium, which is used in airplanes and jet engines, would be “not appropriate”, chief executive Guillaume said. Faury at an annual meeting of shareholders.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly called on Western governments to impose tougher economic sanctions on Russia.

On Monday, the European Union said more sanctions were an option and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Saturday kyiv’s allies would continue to increase pressure on Moscow.

Russia is the largest producer of titanium, a strategic metal prized for its strength relative to its weight. So far, however, the EU has avoided banning Russian products other than steel and coal, and titanium remains exempt from restrictions on trade with Russia.

“Airbus is and will continue to fully enforce the sanctions,” a company spokesperson said.

“Sanctions on Russian titanium would do little harm to Russia as they represent only a small part of export revenue there. But they would massively damage the entire aerospace industry across Europe,” they added.

Concern for EU industry

Airbus said it depends on Russia for half of its titanium needs. In March, the company said it “sources titanium directly from Russia as well as other countries” and indirectly purchases Russian titanium through suppliers.

On Tuesday, he reaffirmed this in response to a question from Reuters, but declined to say when he last received Russian titanium.

According to Faury, Airbus is accelerating a search for non-Russian supplies in the long term, while its needs are covered in the short and medium term.

Meanwhile, Russian state-backed VSMPO-AVISMA supplied a third of Boeing’s needs under a deal renewed last November. VSMPO-AVISMA is 25% owned by state defense conglomerate Rostec. It depends on aerospace for three quarters of its sales.

However, last month Boeing announced that it had suspended the purchase of Russian titanium.

Aerospace officials say Airbus is partly concerned about Russian reliance on suppliers like France’s Safran, which uses titanium to make jet engine parts and landing gear .

In February, Safran said it had enough reserves for several months and depended on Russia for less than half of its needs. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether he shared Airbus’ concerns about possible sanctions.

And aerospace isn’t the only industry struggling with Russian influence over raw materials. Reuters reported last month that US utilities had pressured the White House not to ban Russian uranium.

More than 400 companies have pulled out of Russia since the war began on Feb. 24, researchers say. About 80 have maintained a presence while suspending new investments.

At the shareholders’ meeting, Faury also reaffirmed Airbus’ 2022 profit forecast, but said it was clear that the war in Ukraine was “making things more difficult because we now have a higher risk profile. difficult” due to economic risks.

“That being said, we still have three quarters ahead of us and we continue to believe we can achieve that,” he added.


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