June 21, 2022

Metinvest advises customers not to buy Ukrainian steel stolen by the Russians

Metinvest Group has addressed buyers of steel products, asking them not to purchase steel products from Ilyich Steel and Azovstal that have been stolen by the Russians from the port of Mariupol. Letters to this effect, signed by Taras Shevchenko and Enver Tskitishvili, the general directors of Ilyich Steel and Azovstal, respectively, have been sent to all ports, customers, and partners.

At the beginning of the war, over 234,000 tonnes of steel products manufactured by Ilyich Steel and Azovstal were stored at the port of Mariupol. Following Mariupol’s occupation by Russia, the enterprises have not been able to export these products to their lawful buyers in Spain, Italy, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt.

Metinvest enterprises have underlined that there is a high probability of theft and smuggling of Ukrainian steel products, especially taking into consideration that the Russian company River-Sea was known to be loading the vessel RM-3 with metal products. The enterprises have stated that they do not cooperate or coordinate in any way with the representatives of the invading country or its occupation administration, which is involved in shipping metal to the Russian Federation.

Ilyich Steel and Azovstal emphasise that, under international and Ukrainian law, the armed seizure of merchant ships that were in the waters of the port of Mariupol at the time of the invasion and of Ukrainian products can be correctly described as banditry and plunder.

Metinvest Group’s enterprises, therefore, ask all potential buyers to reject any offers related to the stolen products, as any purchase thereof would not be considered as having been made in good faith. In particular, they ask buyers to:

  • carefully verify every contract related to any steel products of doubtful origin, especially those that originate from the temporarily occupied Ukrainian cities of Mariupol, Kherson, Sevastopol, or from the Russian cities of Taganrog, Tuapse, Rostov-on-Don or Novorossiysk and which have never been supplied from these cities before. We ask the ports to carefully verify the validity of shipping documents and the origin of any steel products that originate from the cities referred to above
  • verify the certificates of origin and shipping documents of steel products from the cities referred to above
  • reject suspicious contracts with Russian companies involved in shipping steel products that originate from the cities referred to above
  • notify Metinvest about any commercial offers of steel products that are of doubtful origin.

Earlier this month, Ilyich Steel filed a request with the Cabinet of Ministers and the Office of the President of Ukraine to impose personal sanctions against Russian residents involved in the illegal seizure and re-reselling of Ukrainian steel products.

In late May, Metinvest published information about the high risk of piracy by the Russian Federation and the theft and unlawful shipment of Group’s steel products out of the port of Mariupol.

Metinvest has been making every legal effort to ensure that those behind these illegal activities are brought to justice.

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