Gene Haas, proprietario del team che porta il suo nome, si è ritrovato al centro di una controversia legata alla guerra Russia-Ucraina, il tutto nonostante un anno fa il team boss Gunther Steiner abbia allontanato Nikita Mazepin e suo padre Dmitry, molto vicino a Putin e proprietario della Uralkali, fino al allora title sponsor del team. Ma Newshour, un programma serale in onda sull’emittente americana PBS, sostiene che l’azienda Haas Automation avrebbe violato le sanzioni contro la Russia. Secondo il corrispondente Simon Ostrovski il costruttore di armi russo RATEP produce sistemi per armi anti-aeree “usando parti fatte dal gigante americano con sede in California Haas Automation“. Citando documenti del governo americano, prosegue dicendo che questo rapporto “potrebbe rappresentare un’infrazione alle sanzioni americane“. “Ci ha sorpreso che, anche adesso, un anno dopo l’inizio dell’invasione russa, Haas Automation stia continuando le sue spedizioni dirette alla Russia“, ha detto Denys Hutyk, che fa parte del consiglio di sicurezza economico dell’Ucraina. PBS sostiene anche che la Haas fornisca “molteplici costruttori russi di armi” con macchinari simili. Ovviamente è arrivata subito una smentita da parte di Haas Automation. “La Haas non fornisce più macchinari, ricambi o altro ad alcuna azienda russa“, ha detto il vice presidente Peter Zierhut. “Si tratta di dichiarazioni false“.
Ed è arrivata anche la smentita da parte del team Haas F1:
“On Tuesday, March 14, PBS ran a story alleging that our team partner, Haas Automation, had directly provided machines and parts to Russia in violation of U.S. export control and sanctions regulations. As per Haas Automation’s company statement – that story is simply false, both in its overall impression and in many of its particular statements.
• 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.
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.
In particular, Haas, as a company, has deplored Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and taken every step in its control to cease doing business with Russia or Russian companies. It has also taken affirmative measures to support Ukraine, including, in compliance with U.S. export control and sanctions regulations, providing Haas’ distributor in Ukraine and its Ukrainian customers expedited delivery of Haas manufactured machines. These, and earlier provided Haas machines, are directly and indirectly supporting Ukraine’s efforts to defend itself against Russia’s unwarranted invasion.
It is a bitter irony, therefore, that the PBS report paints Haas as being supportive of the Russian military, which couldn’t be further from the truth. At a time when Americans are struggling to develop the most effective course of conduct in support of Ukraine, it is irresponsible in the extreme for PBS to present this poorly-sourced hit piece, which ignores basic facts and asserts other facts that are clearly false”.