In a recent development, an investigative report has shed light on the persistent flow of substantial funds from US companies to Russia’s state-owned nuclear agency, despite President Joe Biden’s staunch commitment to undermine Russia’s economy. Annually, the U.S. contributes over one billion dollars in payments to Russia, largely for the procurement of enriched uranium, thus granting them a prominent position among the chief money providers from the U.S.

Subsidiaries of Russia’s state-owned nuclear agency, Rosatom, have received this funding to obtain enriched uranium. Following its coercive seizure in March 2022, Rosatom has assumed control over Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. In line with reports from The New York Times, American companies expended an estimated $1 billion in 2022 to acquire nuclear fuel from Rosatom.

In the first quarter of 2023 alone, the US imported an additional $411.5 million worth of enriched uranium, as confirmed by Darya Dolzikova, an analyst for British security. Despite President Biden’s promise to impose economic penalties on Russia and bolster Ukraine in his State of the Union address last year, the numbers presented here showcase the continual transfer of capital from US businesses to Russia.

According to The Wall Street Journal, even with the U.S. imposing wide-ranging sanctions on Russia, nuclear fuel is yet to be included in the list of energy sources banned by Western countries. While the White House did impose sanctions on Rosatom and certain executives in late February, Western companies have persistently maintained robust connections with this influential entity within the nuclear supply chain.

In an interview with Insider, Antony Froggatt at Chatham House, a policy institute based in London, made the observation that nuclear fuel has received relatively less attention in terms of sanctions. He remarked, “It is reasonable to state that nuclear fuel has somewhat escaped the focus of sanctions.”

With billions of dollars still going to Russia despite sanctions, it brings up doubts about the power of economic pressure imposed by Western countries against the nation.