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The Wall Street Journal: Boeing’s titanium supplier in Russia has ties with sanctioned oligarch

Boeing Co. has suspended parts of its business in Russia, but it still has to deal with its relationship to a key titanium supplier led by a sanctioned oligarch who once worked in the KGB with President Vladimir Putin.

The plane maker
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years ago made a big bet on the country’s titanium, crucial for manufacturing its commercial jets and military aircraft, and Boeing has warned that geopolitical changes could create supply problems in the future.

Boeing said it has halted purchasing Russian titanium since the country’s invasion of Ukraine. It also has closed its engineering offices in Moscow and Kyiv and stopped sending spare plane parts to Russian airlines. But as other Western companies retreat from Russia, Boeing declined to say what it will do about its joint venture with the titanium supplier led by Mr. Putin’s former intelligence colleague, Sergey Chemezov.

Boeing has been getting about a third of its titanium from Russia, with the rest coming from the U.S., Japan, China and Kazakhstan, a Boeing spokeswoman said. “Our inventory and diversity of titanium sources provide sufficient supply for airplane production, and we will continue to take the right steps to ensure long-term continuity,” she said.

An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.

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