Maldives: Small island nation with big role shipping chips to Russia

Maldives: Small island nation with big role shipping chips to Russia

The Maldives flag flies over the capital of Male. The Indian Ocean nation is known as a tourist destination but is also a key shipping point. (Nikkei photo)

KATHERINE CREEL and SHOJI YANO, Nikkei staff writers | Maldives

MALE/TOKYO — Surrounded by azure waters and year-round sun, the Maldives is a popular destination for holidaymakers and honeymooners. But there is another side to this country of pristine islands and glamorous resorts. It is also a transit point for shipments that circumvent sanctions against Russia.

In the year after Russia invaded Ukraine, approximately 400,000 U.S.-made semiconductors worth a total of $53.6 million were shipped to Russia via the Maldives, according to Russian customs clearance data obtained from the Indian research firm Export Genius and analyzed by Nikkei.

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