Ottawa has granted the company a waiver from its own sanctions File photo: Airbus assembly line © Getty Images / Francisco J. Olmo/Europa Press via Getty Images

The Canadian government has allowed Airbus to use Russian-produced titanium in its manufacturing processes despite being the first Western state to sanction the strategic metal.

Ottawa banned supplies from Russian titanium giant VSMPO-AVISMA – the world’s largest producer of processed titanium – in its February sanctions package against Moscow. The metal is important to the aerospace industry, prized for its strength relative to its weight.

“Airbus is aware of the Canadian government imposing sanctions on VSMPO and has obtained the necessary authorisation to secure Airbus operations in compliance with the applicable sanctions,” Airbus Canada told Reuters on Tuesday, without elaborating on the timeline.

While the EU has extensively sanctioned Moscow following the escalation of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine in February 2022, it has held off on blacklisting VSMPO-AVISMA. The exemption from the Canadian government is designed to give Airbus leeway in importing jets produced in the EU and built with Russian titanium, Reuters said.

US sanctions Boeing titanium supplier US sanctions Boeing titanium supplier

Airbus announced they were “decoupling” from Russian titanium in 2022. “It will be a matter of months not years,” Airbus Defense and Space CEO Michael Schoellhorn said in December of that year.

The company’s competitor Boeing also claimed to have stopped purchasing supplies of the strategic metal from Russia in 2022. However, major suppliers for Boeing – such as the Safran group and Rolls-Royce – have continued purchasing titanium from VSMPO-AVISMA, Washington Post wrote last month, saying it illustrated how the West remains dependent on Russia for the metal.

Only Canada and Ukraine have sanctioned the Russian titanium giant, while Ukraine’s biggest sponsor, the US, has placed export controls on the corporation in September. The limitations prohibit American exports to the company, but allow its titanium into the US. (RT)