The project of the electronic passport was frozen due to the lack of chips

The Ministry of Digital Transformation has postponed indefinitely the project for issuing digital passports after the start of the war in Ukraine. According to Forbes, the first plastic cards instead of paper documents were going to start issuing in 2023 in three regions.

According to a source familiar with the details of the project, due to the invasion and sanctions, the Russian authorities did not have the necessary chips and plastic to create cards, and there are not enough components even to issue bank cards. Some manufacturing firms stopped cooperating with Moscow due to sanctions, while another part terminated relations with Russia on their own due to currency fluctuations, disruption of logistics and other reasons. In Russia, chips are produced only by the Mikron plant, the rest were imported from Europe, Korea and China.

Konstantin Derishev, CEO of Strana Kart, a manufacturer of plastic cards, believes that the authorities could indeed face a shortage of microcircuits. Before the war, most smart card chips were imported from Europe, the rest of the market was occupied by Chinese chip modules. “Now the market is actively moving from European chips to Chinese and domestic ones,” he explained. Card plastic is available in China, India, Dubai, Kazakhstan and other countries.

A Forbes source, close to one of the microelectronics manufacturers, claims that now the chips can already be produced in the required volume domestically. However, there is no approved technical documentation for the digital passport project: it is not clear what kind of chips are required for it.


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