DOES PBS VELKA BITES SUPPLY ITS PRODUCTS TO THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION?
No - PBS Velka Bites is not cooperating with the Russian Federation in any way, both for legislative and moral reasons.
Each APU product has a unique registration number, based on the basis of which PBS has conducted an investigation to check, to the best of its ability, the actual location of the contested shipments in India and Kazakhstan. It was confirmed that the products in question were indeed used in the specific country of direct export and not elsewhere. The Kyiv Independent article also mentions import companies unknown to PBS, which did not receive any APU supplies from PBS and therefore could not re-export any of our products to the Russian Federation.
WHAT TYPE OF EQUIPMENT SHOULD HAVE PBS VELKA BITES RE-EXPORTED TO RUSSIA?
It is the PBS Sapphire auxiliary power unit (APU), which supplies AC voltage to the on-board grid and simultaneously supplies electricity and compressed air to start the main engine of the helicopter.
Prior to the Russian Federation's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, APUs from PBS were primarily installed in export versions of helicopters for end-users outside Russia, such as in India. Before the outbreak of war in Ukraine, these devices were supplied to end-users from the Russian Federation for installation in Russia only minimally – Russian manufacturer Aerosila has been supplying its own Aerosila TA-14 APUs for Mi-8/17/171 helicopters destined for the local market for decades.
Currently, PBS Velka Bites exclusively supplies this type of equipment to helicopter users outside Russia.
WHAT IS THE BASIS FOR THE KYIV INDEPENDENT’S CLAIMS REGARDING PBS VELKA BITES?
The claims are based on data from a database that lists unofficial information, apparently sourced from available customs data from a total of 55 countries, including India, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Turkey, among others, with the Czech Republic not being among them. The database also includes various other sources, such as statistical data and data from the Suez Canal. However, this is not an official export register. From a legislative point of view, the database is a private entity and therefore does not explicitly guarantee the accuracy of the information provided. The data is not verified in any way and may not correspond to reality. There are several similar databases available, including Import Yeti, Import Genius, ShipmentLink, Trademo, Panjva, GlobalWits and xNova International.
The database was never intended to capture individual trades; its users primarily track trends and volumes. From our perspective, the database has been misused.
According to our internal investigation, we operate on the assumption that the Indian company, Deep Engineering Industries, listed in the database and associated with Russian nationals, deliberately with the aim to harm PBS misrepresented the customs declaration. They stated that the shipment contained APUs manufactured by PBS, when in reality the shipment could have contained any other item and there was no external verification of the entry done by independent entity.
We reiterate that each APU product has a unique registration number, allowing for the traceability of its actual location. An internal PBS investigation confirmed that the products in question were indeed used in the specific country of direct export.
WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS FOR PBS VELKA BITES?
PBS has, to the best of its ability, verified the actual location of the shipments in India and Kazakhstan. The outcome of these checks is satisfactory and there is no reason to believe that there has been any breach of contract by our customers as these are usually end (government) contracts.
At the same time, we have written to the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Kiev to express our concern about this misleading and clearly false claim.
This letter is attached here in full: Letter sent to the administration of Ukraine.
We will be in communication with the database administrator to clarify the incorrect information regarding our imports to Russia.