Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 14.01.2018
Sanctions-busting Siemens is at it again. German engineering firm Siemens signed a new contract with the same Russian company it used to ship four turbines to Russia-occupied Crimea. CEO Joe Kaeser is shameless and overt in his aggressive support of Russia’s invasion of Europe in Ukraine.
Siemens props up the Putin-Kremlin crime syndicate through numerous cut-outs, such as the Russian company Siemens Healthcare and the Russian subsidiary Siemens Gas Turbine Technologies. Siemens is eager to continue to do business with Europe-invader Russia, and largely ignores Europe-defender Ukraine. In particular, Joe Kaeser is making good on the promise he delivered to Vladimir Putin in March 2014. Days after Russia invaded Europe in Crimea, Joe Kaeser rushed to Moscow to give to Putin a pledge of long-term support from Siemens to Russia. The sanctions-busting shipment of the four turbines to Russia-occupied Crimea was co-ordinated between Siemens and Russian concern Rostec. The CEO of Rostec is Sergey Chemezov. Chemezov is sanctioned as an individual by the United States, the European Union, Canada, and other countries for the grave threat to international peace and security that he poses. Rostec itself is sanctioned by the United States.
On January 11, Russian state propaganda outlet TASS announced that Siemens would work with Rostec again. The chain the break sanctions this time around goes like this: Siemens (Joe Kaeser) through its division Siemens Healthcare GmbH through its Russian cut-out Siemens Healthcare through Rostec holding company RosElectronics to Rostec (Sergey Chemezov).
Siemens worked with two Rostec subdivisions, Technopromexport OJSC and Technopromexport LLC, to break sanctions with the four turbines, and is starting a new scheme to skirt sanctions with Rostec holding company RosElectronics. Benefited will be sanctioned individual Sergey Chemezov and Vladimir Putin. Harmed will be the Ukrainian people and German honour.
Siemens would not be putting a knife in the back of European peace and security if it didn’t have the blessing of the German government. German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel has given that blessing, with public talk of lifting sanctions on Russia without requiring Russia to end its occupation Crimea and Donbas and without requiring Russia to stop killing Ukrainians.
Following the clear signals from Gabriel, other German firms are hopping on the sanctions-busting bandwagon. Adidas, DHL and Volkswagen have all been caught playing the ‘Russian subsidiary’ game to exploit the suffering of Ukrainians and benefit the foreign Muscovy invaders who occupy parts of Ukraine. German firms have the full backing of the German government to prop up Russia’s criminal monopoly Gazprom, undercut Ukraine’s gas transit revenue, and destroy the energy security of Europe with the ‘NordStream2’ project. Joe Kaeser and Siemens led the way by shipping four turbines to prop up the Russian invasion-occupation regime in Ukraine’s southern peninsula. With unmistakable pro-Russia, anti-Ukraine signals from Sigmar Gabriel, the rest of corporate Germany is following the sanctions-busting course laid out by Siemens.
Needing Gabriel and the SPD for a ‘grand coalition’ government, Chancellor Angela Merkel is silent in the defence of Ukraine, in the defence of Germany, and in the defence of Europe. Dark days are ahead as Russia’s invasion of Europe continues into its fifth year. While Ukraine’s defence of the great European project remains strong, Germany’s defence is crumbling.