Posted on Feb 14, 2022
It was reported yesterday that Germany had sold Russia €366 million of products with possible military uses in a year, despite EU sanctions on arms exports to Moscow.
In 2020 Berlin issued 673 licences for the export of “dual-use” goods, such as machines that could be used to manufacture either weapons or civilian equipment, to Russian companies, the Welt am Sonntag newspaper said.
Andrij Melnyk, 46, Ukraine’s ambassador to Berlin, said on Twitter: “NO weapons for Ukraine’s self-defence against Russian invasion. BUT €366 million (!) German exports of dual-use goods to Russia in 2020 alone which can be destined to boost weapons production.”
In May 2021 a man, identified only as Alexander S. was detained by German customs officials in the eastern city of Leipzig.
He was accused of running a trading company that had ties to a business in Russia controlled by a Russian intelligence agency.
“This company acted as an intermediary, by purchasing high-quality machine tools and having them shipped to arms companies in Russia,” German prosecutors said in a statement at the time.
According to AP, he was alleged to have shipped several pieces of machinery to Russia in 2019 without obtaining the necessary export licenses, each time declaring a false recipient for the dual-use goods. He was also suspected of having signed purchase agreements for further devices to be shipped to companies involved in Russia’s missile program, though prosecutors said it was unclear whether those goods were delivered.
In October 2020 two other suspects - one, confusingly, also identified as Alexander S. - were charged with similar offences in Hamburg over the delivery of €8 million worth of machinery to a company linked to the Russian military between January 2016 and January 2018.
One of the accused had allegedly received some €280,000 in commissions.
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