Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Sanctions on Russia - An Unintended Consequence

As we all know, thanks to Russia's involvement in Ukraine, the United States government imposed a series of sanctions, one of which included the importation of one of the world's best known firearms, the AK-47.

Currently, the AK-47 assault rifle is manufactured by Kalashnikov Concern,  a two century-old Russian manufacturer of civilian small arms, assault and sniper rifles, guided artillery projectiles and precision weapons.  It produces about 95 percent of all small arms in Russia and exports its product line to 27 countries around the globe.  The company is owned by the state corporation Rostec (51 percent) and private investors (49 percent).   Kalashnikov Concern and its predecessor company's history goes back to 1807; it has supplied arms to every significant military victory that Russia has experienced since the Patriotic War of 1812.  The Kalashnikov was originally manufactured by Izhevsk Machinebuilding Plant (aka IZHMASH), however, it was declared bankrupt in April 2012.  In late 2012, Izhevsk Mechanical Plant, a small arms manufacturer founded in 1942, merged with Izhmash and in August 2013, the company was renamed Kalashnikov Concern. 

Here is a screen capture showing the military and law enforcement weapons that the company produces:

Here is a screen capture showing the civilian weapons that the company produces:

You'll notice that all six models of AK-47 assault rifles are considered "military and law enforcement" weapons.

In January 2014, Kalashnikov sealed a deal which would have seen it export 200,000 rifles annually to the United States.  Unfortunately for the company, it was placed on a list of eight Russian arms manufacturers who were sanctioned by the Obama Administration for Russia's role in Ukraine.  The sanctions prohibit American companies from communicating with Russian businesses, including Kalashnikov Concern.

Let's look at the American connection.  Here is a screen capture from Kalashnikov USA, a company that was established to help import products from Kalashnikov Concern:

Here's a product outline for Kalashnikov USA's AK-47:

Now, thanks to the sanctions imposed on July 16, 2014 that are preventing the importation of AK-47s from Russia, Kalashnikov USA is manufacturing the AK-47 on this side of the Atlantic Ocean as you can see here:

Kalashnikov USA has even hired a marketing firm, Laura Burgess Marketing in Pennsylvania, to assist with marketing its products as you can see here:

As a result, Kalashnikov USA now has a Facebook page:

...and even a Twitter feed:

Back in April 2015, Laura Burgess Marketing announced that Kalashnikov USA was moving its manufacturing and shipping functions to South Florida from Tullytown, Pennsylvania.  According to UPI, the facility will be located in Pompano Beach, Florida.

It looks like, one way or another and sanctions be damned, America's Russian gun enthusiasts are going to get their hands on an AK-47.  On the upside, it is creating jobs for America's beleaguered manufacturing sector.

1 comment:

  1. Did not know about the Kalashnikov shotgun. Man do I want one now...