Germany revokes major defense deal with Russia
Berlin cancels export license issued for a $134 billion defense contract with Russia due to the crisis in Ukraine.
Germany has cancelled a $134 billion (100 million euro) defense deal with Russia over the crisis in eastern Ukraine.
In line with European Union sanctions, the plan for a military training center has been "revoked,” the German Ministry for Economic Affairs said Monday.
Spokeswoman Tanja Alemany said: "I can confirm that following the EU sanctions, an earlier authorization for the export of a combat training center to Russia has been officially revoked.
"This move shows the federal government is following a strict and restrictive arms export policy. Under current situations the export of the combat training center to Russia is unacceptable.”
In March the deal was put on hold in reaction to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. However, following pro-Russian rebels downing of a Malaysia Airlines jet over Ukraine last month – allegedly with a ground-to-air missile supplied by Russia – the government adopted a tougher stance.
The cancellation of the training center goes beyond EU sanctions as an arms ban imposed last week does not cover previously agreed contracts.
Dusseldorf-based firm Rheinmetall had obtained an export license for the center to be based in the Volga region to the east of Moscow under the previous conservative-liberal coalition government.
Sueddeutsche newspaper said the center would have been capable of training 30,000 troops a year in advanced simulators.
German Vice Chancellor and Social Democrat Party leader Sigmar Gabriel has been a strong supporter of the EU decision to reinforce sanctions.
He said that despite calls for Russia to put an end to the civil war between pro-Russia separatists and Ukraine government forces, President Vladimir Putin had done little to calm the conflict.
In contrast to the German stance, France still has a $1.6 billion deal in place to supply Russia with two helicopter carriers.
Last Modified: 2014-08-04 16:08:57
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