"ATF’s determination applies only to the Russian-made 7N6 ammunition analyzed, not to all 5.45x39 ammunition. Ammunition of that caliber using projectiles without a steel core would have to be independently examined to determine their importability."
The purpose of this finding was to increase the availability of 5.45x39.5 ammo to Soviet breakaway states which are not members of NATO and hence do not use NATO caliber service rifles. As such, the ability to resupply these States with ammunition suitable for use in their service rifles is close to non existent given the outbreak of hostilities. ATF's finding keeps needed ammunition in theater and allows ammo suppliers to break contracts with US importers on ALL 5.45x39.5 ammunition.
We first alerted on Twitter to the outbreak of hostilities in the region of February 28th when Russian Special forces were video'd flying into UKRAINE. On March 4th we alerted on Twitter that a Russian Ammo ban was imminent. On March 6th, we blogged an alert about ammunition import rumors and a possible Contra Style war outbreak. As it turns out based on an ATF "Special Advisory" released yesterday April 7th, the ATF initiated these import actions on March 5th the day after our import alert and 5 days after Russia sent special forces into Crimea.
The ATF had to stretch really far to come up with a rationale for the ban; their rationale ended up being functionally equivalent to blaming someone for applying for a unicorn hunting license. Specifically, in 2011 someone inquired about importing a non-existent pistol from Poland. If ATF's rationale stands, there is no limit to what they can dream up next.
What all this ends up meaning is that the United States strongly expects Russian hostilities to increase and spread into their former Soviet Union members states. Given that 5.45x39.5 was specifically targeted, the list of States at risk of suspected hostility are:
Expect further conflict and prepare for associated trade restrictions.
UNCONFIRMED: RUSSIA Diverting US Ammunition Exports In Preparation For "Contra-Style" War in Ukraine
#RedDawn in the #Crimea #Ukraine http://t.co/bcPy8Fnlr6 and http://t.co/cCHRfuJmMD
— Potrblog.com (@Potrblog) February 28, 2014
This RUSSIAN ammo wont be available long, & future imports may stop because of UKRAINE sanctions prices 2 skyrocket http://t.co/znUka70dog
— Potrblog.com (@Potrblog) March 5, 2014