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Russia stealing UK-bound steel, Ukrainian boss says

Moscow is looting steel left behind in the Azovstal mill, according to Metinvest’s chief executive.

22 July 2022

Russia is looting steel bound for the UK and the European Union, the head of Ukraine’s largest steel company has said.

Raw and finished steel worth 600 million US dollars (£501 million) left behind in the Azovstal mill and nearby port in the brutalised city of Mariupol was bound for UK customers, but is now being transported to Russia and partly sold on to Asia and Africa, according to Metinvest chief executive Yuriy Ryzhenkov.

He told the BBC: “What they’re doing with this steel is basically looting.

“They’re stealing our products, not only our products, but also some of those products already belong to European customers.

“So we’re documenting as much as possible. We’re preparing the case and we will be going after them with everything we have.”

Azovstal steelworks, which became the last holdout of Ukrainian fighters and civilians during the battle for Mariupol, and its sister plant accounted for 40% of all Ukraine steel production.

Thousands of tonnes of steel had already been purchased by customers in Europe, including some in Britain.

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