Russian military firms supplied by German company?

The German federal government is throwing up its hands and pointing the finger at Brussels, while Germans are profiting from their trade with Russia.

POLITICS MAY 3. 2024 10:48

Despite the Russia-Ukraine war, there are indications that plans are afoot for additional shipments of radioactive material between Germany and Russia, according to research by German public broadcaster Sudwestrundfunk (SWR). Their study highlights that Dutch authorities have authorised several shipments of radioactive material from a fuel cell plant in Lingen, Lower Saxony, to a Russian company, with the shipments being made to a company allegedly closely affiliated with the Russian military.

These shipments will be made via Rotterdam. According to SWR, there are two cargo ships between St Petersburg and Rotterdam and Dunkirk in France, and uranium is also regularly transported from Russia to Lingen via this route. In this case, according to the Dutch documents, uranium-containing products are transported from the Lingen fuel cell plant to a company named MSZ Machinery in Elektrostal, near Moscow.

Radioactive materials are processed in the factory hall, which is located about 50 kilometres east of Moscow. In a video from the company, a senior worker says:

„After reprocessing, nuclear technicians get uranium oxide […]. This is used to build nuclear bombs and as fuel for nuclear power plants”.

According to unconfirmed reports, the plant also produces fuel rods for nuclear submarines. Environmental activist and former Navalny employee, Alexei Schwarz, described the company by poiting out that „MSZ has a licence for the use of nuclear energy for defence purposes, for the production of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy facilities for military purposes. Any connection with Rosatom is an investment in Russian nuclear weapons.”

The Ministry of the Environment in Lower Saxony is responsible for the supervision of the Lingen fuel rods plant. Environment Minister Christian Meyer explained that cross-border uranium shipments are regulated by the federal government and the EU. However, he clearly criticised the fact that such shipments are still regular between Germany and Russia. SWR asked the relevant federal authorities and ministries for their views on shipments from Lingen to Russia, and they invariably assigned blame to Brussels.

With these deliveries, the Lingen fuel cell factory turns itself into the stooge of the Russian arms industry, at least that’s what many NGOs have claimed. ‘There’s a threat that uranium from Lingen will be used in Russian nuclear weapons and in the Russian navy’s nuclear submarines. Therefore, the requested uranium export is a clear violation of German and European sanctions rules,” the heads of one organisation told public media.

Another interesting fact is that the French company Framatome, which continues to trade uranium with Russian state-owned companies, owns the fuel cell plant in Lingen in Lower Saxony.



germany, nuclear energy, russia, war