Russian state lender VEB takes over chip plant hit by U.S. sanctions

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Russia's state development bank Vnesheconombank (VEB) is seen on top of a building in central Moscow, Russia, April 22, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian state development bank VEB has taken over Angstrem-T’s semiconductors plant, the lender said on its website, after the company was hit by U.S. sanctions and crippled by debts.

Reuters reported in October that Angstrem-T had accumulated significant debts and was set to be taken over by VEB after failing to reimburse an 815-million-euro ($945 million) loan dating back to 2008.

A former owner of the plant confirmed it had been taken over. VEB did not immediately comment.

President Vladimir Putin has stressed the need to develop Russia’s domestic tech industry to make it less dependent on foreign equipment amid a broader stand-off with the West.

But Moscow’s efforts to manufacture Russian microchips and other high tech products have been thwarted by U.S. sanctions against a string of Russian tech companies.