Haas Automation denies rumors that it broke Russian sanctions

Company has Kannapolis connections through owner Gene Haas and racing teams
In February of 2022 Haas cut all ties with Russian driver Nikita Mazepin and Russian sponsor...
In February of 2022 Haas cut all ties with Russian driver Nikita Mazepin and Russian sponsor Uralkali. The company has now been accused in a PBS story of selling equipment to Russia, in violation of US sanctions.(Sam Bloxham | Sam Bloxham / LAT Images)
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 5:09 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A story published by PBS on Tuesday that California-based Haas Automation had directly provided machines and parts to Russia in violation of U.S. export control and sanctions regulations, is being denied by the company.

In a statement, Haas Automation says “that story is simply false, both in its overall impression and in many of its particular statements.”

The statement included several “key points,” including:

• Haas Automation is and has always been in full compliance with U.S. Government export control.

• No machines have shipped from the Haas Automation factory to Russia since March 3, 2022.

• The 18 machines referenced in the story left the Haas Automation factory prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

• Haas Automation voluntarily chose to terminate its relationship with the Russian distributor, which has never been required by any U.S. sanctions.

• Haas Automation completely supports Ukraine and its people in their defense against Russia.

“On March 3, 2022, shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Haas Automation terminated, in its entirety, its relationship with its sole existing independent distributor for Russia and Belarus, Abamet Management. Since that date, Haas has not sold or shipped any machines, parts, or software to Abamet or anyone else in Russia. This crucial fact was made clear to the PBS reporter before the story was aired,” the statement said.

The PBS story cast doubt on that claim, saying Customs records reviewed by “NewsHour” show that shipments continued for months after Russia’s invasion began. At least 18 shipments were made to Russia directly from Haas worth $2.8 million from March 4 through October of last year, according to the PBS report.

In its statement, Haas claims that those shipments were made before the sanctions were in place.

“Additionally, at the time it terminated its relationship with Abamet in March, Haas voluntarily cancelled 50 existing machine orders from Abamet, even though such orders may have been permissible under then existing U.S. export control and sanctions regulations,” the Haas statement says.

“Haas Automation has been manufacturing machines for more than 30 years, and there are more than 200,000 Haas machines currently in use throughout the world. Throughout that period, Haas has been a strict adherent to all U.S. export control and sanctions regulations, and an even stronger supporter of the U.S. policy goals many of those regulations are designed to address.”

The full statement from Haas Automation is available on the company website: www.haascnc.com

Gene Haas is the founder of Haas Automation, described by the company as the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. Haas Automation is based in Oxnard, Carlifornia.

Haas also owns the Haas F1 Team, based in Kannapolis. In February 2022, the team fired Russian driver Nikita Mazepin, and severed all ties with its sponsor, Uralkali, a Russian fertilizer manufacturer associated with Mazepin’s father.

The team moved to terminate Uralkali as its sponsor and terminate Mazepin’s contract.