Many thanks to Hellequin GB for translating this article from Report24:
Chip makers groan as Russia limits noble gas exports
Bad news for manufacturers of semiconductor chips, among others. As a countermeasure to Western sanctions, Russia has imposed restrictions on the export of noble gases.
Moscow has repeatedly stated that it will react appropriately to increasing Western sanctions. The Russians are responding accordingly, with Intel, Samsung, TSMC, and Qualcomm exiting the Russian market after the United States, United Kingdom, and European Union imposed export controls on chips made or designed in the United States or Europe.
For the time being, until December 31 of this year, exports of noble gases require a special permit from the Russian government. “We believe that we will have the opportunity to make our voices heard in this global chain, and this will give us a competitive advantage when it is necessary to conduct mutually beneficial negotiations with our peers,” said Russia’s Deputy Trade Minister Vasily Shpak told Reuters on Thursday.
Given that Russia is responsible for around a third of global production of the noble gases neon, krypton and xenon, and the two Ukrainian noble gas producers Ingas and Cryoin in Donbass stopped production in March due to the war, global supply is becoming increasingly scarce. These produced around half of the global demand for neon. For example, neon is used in lasers during lithography, a part of the chip manufacturing process that burns patterns into silicon.
The Russian move promises to prolong the global semiconductor supply crisis, which is already wreaking havoc on a variety of industries that use the increasingly ubiquitous chips. Taiwan — the leading maker of chips in general and 92 percent of the most advanced chips — has also restricted its exports to Russia and can now expect to face severely curtailed noble gas supplies in return.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that the sanctions against Russia are boomeranging back on Western economies. The bear was cornered and is now fighting back. With disastrous consequences for the people and businesses of Europe who are suffering under the sanctions imposed by their politicians.
Afterword from the translator:
Just look on the bright side: now they can’t push the chips into our bodies as easily any longer, and that is most likely the sole reason why they are miffed with the Russians. Their long march towards tyranny came to a chasm whose bridge they blew up themselves. Long live stupidity… oops, sorry, naturally I meant “solidarity”.