PBS vs. Haas Q&A. Haas Automation, the company of Gene Haas, the owner of the Haas F1 Team, has found itself in the eye of the storm over the last few hours due to an article published by the American PBS. This alleges that the American company has directly supplied machinery and parts to Russia, thus violating the sanctions imposed on the nation that started the war against Ukraine just over a year ago.
Over the last few hours, however, Haas Automation – with a statement also published on the social pages of the Formula 1 team – has replied by strongly rejecting all the allegations received regarding the alleged violation of US export control regulations and the sanctions applied to Russia .
Haas, through a detailed statement, clarified that it has always acted in full compliance with US government laws and has not exported any machinery to Russia since March 3, 2022.
The article published by PBS refers to 18 Haas machines used in Russia, but the American company explained that these had been shipped before the entry into force of the sanctions that are still very present. Haas also explained that it had terminated the relationship with its Russian distributor, although it was not obliged to do so.
Gene Haas, owner and founder of Haas F1
Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
The statement published by Haas, states that: “On March 3, 2022, shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Haas Automation terminated, in its entirety, the relationship with its only existing independent distributor for Russia and Belarus, i.e. 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 prior to the broadcaster’s publication of the report.”
“Furthermore, at the time it terminated its relationship with Abamet in March, Haas voluntarily canceled 50 existing machine orders from Abamet, even though those orders may have been permitted under export control and sanctions regulations of the states. United then in force”.
Haas was keen to point out that the part of the report that talks about a shipment of equipment that would have taken place in October 2022 is a lie. The American company has acknowledged that some equipment may actually have changed owners, but all this could not have happened without the precise consent of the top management of the company itself.
“Although Haas did not have physical control over those products, all of them were subject to Abamet’s certification to Haas that it would not export any Haas products in violation of US export control and sanctions laws. Haas is certainly not aware of any any instance where this actually happened”.
Ultimately, according to Haas, if shipments of Haas-manufactured equipment or components were made after March 3, 2022, those shipments were made without Haas’ knowledge, either by Abamet or one of Haas’ many other customers in Worldwide”.
“Such shipments were allegedly made in direct violation of Haas’ explicit policy towards Russia following the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.”
Haas also explained that it severed all ties with Russian companies following the invasion of Ukraine, including its F1 team’s Uralkali sponsorship deal, which cost it millions of dollars in revenue.
“It is a bitter irony, then, that the PBS report portrays Haas as a supporter 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 action in support of Ukraine, it is extremely irresponsible for PBS to present this article by exploiting such scanty sources, ignoring key facts, and stating other facts that are plainly false.” , concludes the harsh communiqué.
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