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  • How companies from Switzerland, Italy, and Germany help Russia circumvent sanctions to produce weapons

    The investigation was prepared by the Economic Security Council of Ukraine together with the InformNapalm international intelligence community.

    Instead of a Foreword

    This is Berenne Alinovi. She has her own business in Barcelona, Spain. She sews cocktail and wedding dresses and creates jewelry with Swarovski crystals.

    And this is Inna Soloshenko from Lebedyn, Sumy Oblast, in a wedding dress. She married Mykhailo in 2019. In 2020, the woman gave birth to their son Yefrem.

    Recently, the life of the Soloshenko family was suddenly cut short. On March 12, 2022, a Russian tank fired point-blank at the car they were in.

    But this might not have happened, in particular, if some foreign companies had not helped the Russian Federation to produce weapons circumventing the sanctions imposed back in 2014.

    One of these companies, still working for the Russian military-industrial complex, is headed by Berenne’s husband, Roger Alinovi. Despite the sanctions, the Swiss company CODERE he manages continued to supply equipment to the sanctioned Elektromashina plant in Russia, which produces components for Russian tanks.

    Unfortunately, this company is not alone. Dozens of Swiss, Italian, and German firms make deals with Russian defense companies through shell companies and circumvent sanctions. They are doing that to earn billions of dollars while Russian missiles and tanks are killing innocent Ukrainians.

    Who Supplies the Equipment and to Whom

    The Elektromashina plant, which Alinovi cooperates with, is located in Russian Chelyabinsk and is part of the Uralvagonzavod Corporation. The Uralvagonzavod, in its turn, is a daughter company of Rostekh, a giant Russian state conglomerate operating in the civil and military industry.

    Now Uralvagonzavod is the only tank manufacturer in the Russian Federation. Elektromashina produces components for these tanks.

    In 2014, after Russia’s war against Ukraine started, Uralvagonzavod fell under EU sanctions, like many other companies. European companies would have to withdraw from joint projects and break any business ties with these enterprises. However, many companies did not do so.

    That’s why, back in 2016, Elektromashina bought new equipment – a thermal treatment line manufactured by the Swiss company CODERE SA. It was purchased for RUB 155.5 million through an intermediary, Galika-CTS company.

    At first glance, it might seem that the Swiss company might not be aware of the end clients for their equipment because they entered into a contract with another company rather than the Russian defense enterprise.

    However, this impression is wrong. The Swiss CODERE knew everything. The company announced cooperation with Elektromashina in 2013. It even held a conference with representatives of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Oboronprom Holding, the Russian embassy, and the business community of Switzerland.

    In addition to CODERE, numerous other firms cooperate with the Russian defense industry. One of them is the Swiss GF Machining Solutions.

    In 2018, the JSC Konstruktorskoe Buro Priborostroeniya (Instrument Design Bureau) in Tula received equipment worth more than RUB 722 million from the Swiss company GF Machining Solutions. In particular, the Russian company purchased 23 MIKRON HPM 600HD milling machines, 12 MIKRON HEM 500U milling machines, 1 AgieCharmilles FORM 20 die-sinking machine, and MIKRON HRM 1150U milling machine.

    This Russian company designs weapons. For instance, the Bureau produced the Pantsir surface-to-air missile and gun systems, which Russia uses in the war against Ukraine. Also, the Bureau develops systems of high-precision weapons of surface-to-surface, surface-to-air, and air-to-surface classes and designs grenade launchers, sniper rifles, machine guns, submachine guns, pistols, and revolvers.

    In 2017, Izhevsk Mechanical Plant in Udmurtia got an AgieCharmilles CUT 20 P wire-cutting EDM machine from the Swiss GF Machining Solutions for EUR 169,648.

    This equipment also helped strengthen the aggressive Russian army because the Izhmekh plant produces 86% of all small arms in the Russian Federation, including the Makarov and Yarygin pistols. By the way, they were found in the town of Dymer, Vyshgorodsky district, Kyiv Oblast, after the withdrawal of Russian troops. The locals of the village spent 35 days under Russian occupation. People are still scouring the neighboring forests, looking for their missing relatives tortured by the Russian military.

    Also, in 2018, the largest manufacturer of aircraft engines in the Russian Federation, PJSC ODK-UMPO (Ufa, Bashkortostan), received a universal grinding machine WALTER HELITRONIC MINI POWER for more than RUB 81 million from Walter, a German company.

    By the way, in 2018, ODK-UMPO began developing an engine for the SU-57 fighter. In May 2022, Russian propagandists boasted of testing the fifth-generation Su-57 fighters in the war against Ukraine.

    The Swiss manufacturer Fritz Studer AG also cooperates with Russia. In 2018, the company supplied two universal cylindrical grinding machines, Studer S21 CNC, to the largest aircraft and space engine building enterprise of the Russian Federation PJSC Kuznetsov in Samara. It cost more than RUB 316 million.

    By order of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, Kuznetsov produces engines for the Tu-160 White Swan strategic bombers, deeply modernized Tu-160M, Tu-95MS, and long-range Tu-22M3 aircraft. Now the Russians are actively using all these aircraft in the war in Ukraine.

    And in 2019, the Swiss manufacturer fulfilled the order of the only company that produces missiles for the C-300 and C-400 anti-aircraft systems – JSC MMZ Avangard (Moscow). Russian troops near Kharkiv used those weapons – the S-400 and S-300 anti-aircraft missile divisions – in April 2022.

    The Russian client got a precision CNC cylindrical grinding machine with the function of processing external and internal threads S30 worth over EUR 382,000 from the Swiss company.

    In 2019, JSC NPP Kaluga Instrument-Making Plant Typhoon got a TNA 400 lathe worth EUR 260,000 from Index Traub, a German manufacturer. The Russian enterprise produces radar stations for surface ships of the Russian Navy and coastal missile systems. The Bal coastal missile system equipped with anti-ship cruise missiles is produced here. It is used for shelling Ukraine from Crimea.

    The Russian JSC “Chepetsky Mechanical Plant” (Glazov, Udmurtia) received a Planomat HP 412 CNC profile grinding machine for more than RUB 41 million from the German manufacturer Blohm Jung GmbH in the same year.

    The Chepetsk Mechanical Plant is part of Rosatom, whose employees took part in seizing the occupied Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant. The enterprise also occupies one of the critical positions in the process cycle for producing nuclear fuel based on natural uranium.

    In the same year, the Italian manufacturer Hexagon Metrology S.p.A. sold a Micra Hexagon Metrology coordinate measuring machine worth over EUR 171,000 to the Russian JSC Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant KUPOL. KUPOL supplies the Russian Ministry of Defense with Tor air defense systems, which the Russians actively use in the war against Ukraine.

    In 2018, the Swiss manufacturer Sylvac SA sold an optical measuring system, the Scan 52 model, worth almost RUB 3 million to the Russians. The customer is JSC Novosibirsk Ammunition Plant, which produces cartridges for small arms, including caliber 7.62×51.

    The Tochnost (Precision) sniper rifles, which the Russian National Guard was armed with in 2017, have this caliber. According to Reuters, Vityaz, a special unit of the Russian National Guard, operated in Bucha. So, this Swiss company also contributed to the tragedy.

    How Companies Circumvent Sanctions

    Most of the aforementioned Russian enterprises are under sanctions. In particular, the sanctions lists include the Uralvagonzavod Corporation (which includes Elektromashina), JSC Instrument Design Bureau, Izhevsk Mechanical Plant (part of the Kalashnikov Concern), JSC Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant KUPOL, Ufa Motor-Building Production Association (ODK-UMPO, owned by United Engine-Construction Corporation JSC), Avangard MMZ JSC.

    Despite this, Italian, Swiss and German companies keep cooperating with the Russian defense industry. But, of course, they do it through the Swiss shell company, Galika AG, rather than directly. This company’s director is Lino Derungs, a Swiss citizen. However, he has been doing business in Russia since the early 1990s.

    Switzerland allegedly joined the sanctions against defense enterprises of the Russian Federation, which the US and the EU imposed due to the annexation of Crimea.

    “But we do not want to be perceived as a country taking sides. Therefore, we usually introduce monitoring to ensure that Russia or Russian companies do not use Switzerland to circumvent EU sanctions. Conversely, we ensure that European companies or other entities do not use Switzerland to circumvent them,” Yves Rossier, the then Swiss Ambassador to the Russian Federation, explained the situation in 2018.

    That same year, he promoted cooperation with representatives of Galika AG in the Perm Krai.

    Galika AG sells equipment in the Russian Federation through numerous branches. One of them is Galika CTS. Until 2020, Evgeny Georgievich Polkanov was the director of Galika CTS. In 2014-15, he was the deputy director of Stankoprom Holding, a part of Rostekh. Thus, it becomes clear why the Swiss company cooperates with the Russian defense industry.

    According to tender data, from 2016 to 2021, Galika CTS signed contracts worth RUB 1.4 billion with Russian clients. However, there may be many more of them because, after the sanctions were imposed in 2014-2015, most orders for defense enterprises of Rostekh were classified as secret.

    You can, of course, assume that European equipment manufacturers did not know to whom they supplied their products. However, they definitely did.

    For example, the Swiss manufacturer GF Machining Solutions became a member of the Russian-Swiss Competence Center in the field of micromachining technologies in June 2014.

    Walter Maschinenbau (Germany), which supplied machine tools worth EUR 2.37 million to the ODK-UMPO enterprise for producing engines for SU-57 fighters, also knew about the final recipient of its products. Here, we offer several arguments to prove this.

    •     Firstly, this expensive equipment must be installed, commissioned, and maintained by the manufacturer. Without it, such equipment is just a lump of iron.
    •     Secondly, considering the message on Facebook, in November 2020, Galika AG’s service manager Ivan Semenskoy flew from Sheremetyevo Airport (Moscow) to Ufa (Bashkortostan). ODK-UMPO, which ordered the expensive machine tools, is located right there. Marek Belzak from Poland liked Semenskoy’s post about this trip. This person is Walter Maschinenbau’s Sales Director for Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine.

    Fritz Studer AG, a German company, also agreed to supply equipment. In 2015, the Russian Federal Accreditation Service audited the company that certified equipment imported to the Russian Federation. It turned out that the German company authorized Galika AG to sell its machines there. It means that one firm in Switzerland produces machine tools, and another, which does not produce anything but only resells, represents the manufacturer in the Russian Federation.

    Index Traub, also a German company, not only supplies equipment to Russians but also opened an office in the Russian city of Tolyatti, Samara Oblast, in 2016. The company explained that this decision was made due to the “political situation.”

    “The current political situation requires us to localize our production in Russia so that we can participate in tenders of state-owned companies on an equal footing with other market participants,” the company said.

    Blohm Jung GmbH of Germany expressly states on its website that it is part of the UNITED GRINDING Group with dedicated subsidiaries for international markets in India, China, Russia, and the USA.

    All these companies help Russia produce weapons used in the war against Ukraine. They know about it but do not leave the Russian market anyway.

    Scandals Involving Galika AG

    Switzerland has long known that Galika AG is closely linked to Russia. In 2019, journalists discovered that the company had supplied equipment for producing Kalashnikov assault rifles in Venezuela. However, the Swiss officials turned a blind eye to this fact.

    “In 2012, Galika AG from Volketswil in the canton of Zürich supplied machines for producing AK-103 assault rifles worth several million Swiss francs. The plant in the city of Maracay is due to start up by late 2019 and will produce 25,000 Kalashnikovs per year.

    The export ban did not apply to the equipment sold by Galika AG. It is because the equipment did not fall under the category of military materiel and was not considered so-called dual-use goods. We are talking about those machines that can be used for military purposes,” the media wrote.

    And last year, Galika AG applied to SECO, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, to obtain two permits to export to Russia: a Swiss-made milling machine and a lathe. It was claimed to be intended to make parts for medical devices.

    However, the Swiss intelligence service suspects that the documents are fake and the devices are intended for the military sector – the production of sensors for the SU-57 stealth multirole fighters. So far, the Russians have problems manufacturing parts for new jet fighters.

    After the permits had been denied, the company tried again to deliver the same machines to Russia. This time, it indicated that they were intended for a foil balloon toy company. Permits were denied again.

    In March 2022, after the start of the war in Ukraine, Handelszeitung reported that Galika AG was again trying to supply equipment to Russia.

    What Happened after February 24, 2022?

    The Federal Tax Service of the Russian Federation counted at least eight companies affiliated with the Swiss Galika AG in Russia.

    One of them is Galika-Met, registered in the city of Elektrostal near Moscow. According to public procurement data, by May 1, 2022, the company must supply, assemble, and put into operation a suite of process equipment from the Swiss GF Machining Solutions.

    It costs RUB 407 million. The customer is the aircraft engine-building company JSC Kuznetsov, a part of Rostekh.

    The GF Machining Solutions website reports that the Swiss company is represented in Russia by Galika AG. That is, the Swiss company GF Machining Solutions, through its representative Galika, sold and installed equipment at the defense enterprise of the aggressor country in May 2022.

    Earlier, in May 2020, Galika-Met supplied a coordinate measuring machine to the ODK. And in October of the same year, the defense enterprise produced the first batch of new engines for the upgraded Tu-160M strategic bombers, which Russia uses actively against the Ukrainians.

    Making Money on Ukrainians’ Blood

    Following the start of Russia’s war against Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea, on July 31, 2014, the European Union imposed an embargo on imports and exports of arms to Russia, as well as banned exports of dual-use goods and technologies for military use to Russia or Russian military end-users. The EU also banned exports of goods and technologies that can be used for both military and civilian purposes. In addition, the EU has required exporters to obtain prior permission from member states’ competent authorities to export certain types of energy equipment and technologies to Russia.

    It means that the activities of all the Swiss, Italian, and German companies mentioned above are nothing more than the circumvention of EU sanctions to make a profit from the lives of Ukrainians.

    Of course, the Soloshenko family shot dead by a Russian tank cannot be brought back to life, but it is possible to block access to Western equipment for the Russian military industry. Thus, the competent authorities in the EU should pay attention to the activities of these companies, introduce new sanctions against them, and close the gaps in the sanctions policy.


    Find this story on 17 June 2022

    Global arms industry getting shakeup by war in Ukraine – and China and US look like winners from Russia’s stumbles

    Russia’s war in Ukraine is upending the global arms industry.

    As the U.S. and its allies pour significant sums of money into arming Ukraine and Russia bleeds tanks and personnel, countries across the world are rethinking defense budgets, materiel needs and military relationships. Countries that historically have had low levels of defense spending such as Japan and Germany are bulking up, while nations that purchase most of their weapons from Russia are questioning their reliability and future delivery.

    My research in this area suggests that, however this war eventually ends, the repercussions for the global defense industry, and for the countries whose companies dominate this sector, will be enormous. Here are four takeaways.

    1. Russia will be the biggest loser

    Russia’s general sales pitch for its weapons has been they’re “cheaper and easier to maintain than Western alternatives.” This is why Russia accounted for 19% of the world’s arms exports from 2017 to 2021, second only to the U.S., which had 39% of the market.

    However, this pitch may no longer be effective for many countries that have seen Russian equipment losses and failures in Ukraine.

    To date, the U.S. estimates Russia has lost almost a thousand tanks, at least 50 helicopters, 36 fighter-bombers and 350 artillery pieces, according to Business Insider. Thousands of Russian soldiers have been killed, with estimates ranging from about 15,000 to as high as 30,000, and Russia is still unable to control Ukraine’s airspace.

    The situation has become so dire that there are reports that commanders are trying to preserve equipment by forbidding troops from using them to evacuate wounded soldiers or to support units that have advanced too far.

    Russia’s offensive weapons have also proved disappointing. Its missile failure rate – the share that either failed to launch, malfunctioned mid-flight or missed their target – may be as high as 50% to 60% due to design flaws and outdated or inferior equipment.

    These problems, along with the Russian military’s slow progress achieving any of President Vladimir Putin’s stated objectives, have raised serious doubts among the country’s traditional customers for weapons exports. Russia sells almost 90% of its weapons to just 10 countries, including India, Egypt and China.

    What’s more, Russia’s ability to replace these equipment losses has been hampered by economic sanctions, which bars key foreign components like circuit boards. And Russia will almost certainly need to replace its own military hardware before it exports anything abroad.

    That means that even countries that want to keep buying Russian tanks and fighter jets will have to wait in line or turn elsewhere to fulfill their defense needs.

    2. Russia’s loss is China’s gain

    The country that will likely see the greatest gains from Russia’s displacement as a major arms supplier is China.

    In recent years, the country has taken a 4.6% share of the global arms trade, putting it in fourth place behind France’s 11%. At the same time, seven of the top 20 global defense companies in terms of revenues earned from defense sales are Chinese, signaling the sector’s big ambitions.

    Currently, the Chinese government buys most of its weapons and vehicles from these domestic arms makers, but China has the capacity to export more military products abroad.

    For example, China is already the world’s largest shipbuilder, so exporting more naval ships is a natural next step. The country is expanding its niche role in drone technology and attempting to leverage modernizing its air force with domestically built aircraft to increase exports.

    At the moment, only three of the world’s 40 biggest arms importers – Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar – buy a majority of their weapons from China. That could change if China takes advantage of Russian weakness to position itself as a reliable national security, economic and political partner – a core feature of its Belt and Road Initiative.

    China is not capable of supplanting U.S. and European weapons, which are considered “top shelf” because of their high quality and price. But China may well fill the market niche that Russian arms makers dominated, thereby increasing Beijing’s role as a major weapons exporter – and gaining the political and economic benefits that accompany that.

    One of China’s biggest challenges will involve proving that its weapons work well in live combat situations.

    3. American arms makers will also be big winners

    U.S. weapons manufactures dominate the global arms industry. The Ukraine war will likely ensure this stays that way for some time.

    The world’s five largest arms companies are all American: Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics. In fact, half of the top 100 producers of arms are based in the U.S. Twenty are European. Only two are Russian – despite the country being the world’s second-largest source of arms.

    The massive amounts of weapons being transferred from the U.S. to Ukraine will keep American arms makers busy for some time to come. For example, the U.S. has transferred about one-third of its stock of Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, and it will take three to four years for the Raytheon-Lockheed Martin joint venture to replace them. The US$40 billion aid package recently signed by President Joe Biden includes $8.7 billion to replenish U.S. weapons stocks.

    The companies’ soaring stock prices are a sign investors believe profitable days are ahead. Lockheed Martin’s stock price is up over 12% since the invasion began – with most of the gains occurring in its immediate aftermath. Northrop Grumman has jumped 20%. At the same time, the broader stock market as measured by the S&P 500 has slumped about 4%.

    4. More countries will become arms makers

    The flipside to this is that some countries that relied on others for their defense needs may seek to become more self-sufficient.

    India, which relied on Russia for almost half of its weapons imports in recent years, is realizing that Russia will need most or all of its production capacity to replace tanks, missiles, aircraft and other weapons used or lost in Ukraine, with less leftover for export.

    That means India will need to either source spare parts for vehicles and weapons from other former Russia arms customers such as Bulgaria, Georgia and Poland, or build up its own defense industry. In April, India announced it would ramp up production of helicopters, tank engines, missiles and early airborne warning systems to offset any potential reduction in Russian exports.

    Concerns about Russian reliability are also growing. In May, India canceled a $520 million helicopter deal with Russia. While there are reports U.S. pressure played a role, it also seems to be part of the government’s strategy over the past few years to build its own domestic defense industrial base.

    Brazil, Turkey and other emerging market countries have also been developing their own defense industries over the past two decades to reduce their reliance on arms imports. The Ukraine war will accelerate this process.

    Putin likely didn’t expect to shake up the global arms market with his effort to annex Ukraine – or cause the decline of his country’s weapons sector. But that’s just one more way his war is causing a geopolitical earthquake.

    This article has been updated to correct the size of the canceled Indian helicopter deal.

    Find this story at 7 June 2022

    Who armed Russia?

    Despite the embargo imposed in 2014, at least ten EU countries sold military equipment and weapons to the Russian Federation. According to the Working Party on Conventional Arms Exports (COARM) and all EU-27 arms export registers, between 2015 and 2020, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Finland, Slovakia and Spain sold weapons worth a total of €346 million to Russia.

    For the most part, the countries used a loophole in EU rules to continue trade. The Working Party explained that the EU arms embargo contained the following exception: “Contracts signed before August 1, 2014, or ancillary contracts required to perform such agreements. Those contained in the database must be subject to this exception. The member states are responsible for ensuring compliance with the arms embargo and the EU’s common position.”

    However, the conclusion is not so simple. Siemon Wezeman, senior researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), points to a difference between regular economic trade and arms exports, “Weapons are part of our foreign policy, not economic policy. Political reasons are the main thing.”

    France made the most significant contribution to Russia’s military arsenal by supplying it with infrared guidance systems. According to Disclose, France sold equipment worth €152 million to Russia.

    Since 2015, France has supplied bombs, missiles, rockets, torpedoes, explosives, direct lethal weapons, day and night fire control cameras for fighters and missile systems, and thermal imagers. The number of licenses issued by France jumped in 2015, immediately after the embargo was imposed.

    In 2014, French authorities gave permission to send chemical, biological and radioactive materials as well as related equipment. In 2016, France’s General Secretariat for Defense and National Security approved eight applications for warranty repair and replacement of equipment. However, the French government claims that only equipment left from the previously concluded contracts was supplied.

    French President Emmanuel Macron’s behavior could be explained by the fact that after the defeat of Russia many “unpleasant” facts might be revealed.

    Germany ranks second. According to Investigate Europe, it exported military equipment worth €121.8 million to Russia. The major volume of weapons was exported in 2015. The report says then Germany sold two rescue icebreakers for €119 million. The website of the manufacturer, Nordic Yards, indicates the icebreakers Bering Strait and Murman are intended for search and rescue operations, towing, and environmental protection efforts in case of emergency oil spills. In 2017, Germany sold hydrazine – fuel for rocket engines and spacecraft – for €2.5 million to Russia.

    In addition, Germany delivered dual-purpose goods worth €366 million. That’s why the German politicians who slammed arms exports do not consider these supplies a violation of the embargo. According to the Welt am Sonntag newspaper, the deliveries included a variety of high-tech electronics, sensors and lasers that can be used in the manufacture of weapons. The export of these goods was finally banned in the fourth sanctions package.

    Italy comes third. From 2015 to 2020, it sold military equipment for a total of €22.5 million. The first major contract was concluded in 2015. The government headed by Matteo Renzi allowed the Italian company Iveco to sell vehicles worth €25 million to Russia. Lynce armored vehicles manufactured by Iveco were spotted by a journalist of LA7 TV channel at the front in Ukraine in early March. According to Istat, Italy’s National Institute of Statistics, in January-November 2021 Italy supplied weapons and ammunition worth €21.9 million.

    In 2015-2019, the Czech Republic exported aircraft, drones, aircraft engines and equipment. Every year, Austria sold Russia smoothbore weapons with calibers under 20mm, 12.7mm automatic weapons, ammunition installation devices, detonators and their components. Bulgaria, under two contracts in 2016 and 2018, exported military ships and other vessels, special naval equipment, accessories and components, and technology for the development, production or use of products included in the EU Common Military List to the tune of €16.5 million.

    Finland, Spain, Slovakia and Croatia each made one export delivery to Russia, though much smaller than in previous years.

    However, according to SIPRI data on arms exports, there is an even more interesting fact: not only EU countries have sold weapons to Russia since the 2014 embargo. It is about not about weapons but licenses for their manufacture. According to SIPRI senior researcher Siemon Wezeman, these were 15 Antonov-148 transport aircraft manufactured at the Voronezh Aircraft Manufacturing Plant in Russia.

    In mid-April 2022, the European Commission approved the fifth sanctions package, closing the legal loophole in the 2014 embargo that had allowed deliveries of arms and dual-purpose goods to Russia.

    Find this story at 28 June 2022
    Ukraine calls out Italian metal company for “supporting Russia’s military complex”

    Ukraine calls out Italian metal company for “supporting Russia’s military complex” Credit: Creative Commons

    The Defence of Ukraine called out an Italian steel-plant company for its collaboration with Russia, in supplying equipment allegedly destined to produce nuclear submarines and tank armour.

    Taking to Twitter to publicly call out the Italian company and its support of Russia, the Defence of Ukraine posted:

    “After four months of the large-scale war, Italian-based #Danieli still collaborates with russian plants, supplying equipment to produce nuclear submarines and tank armor. Supporting russian military complex goes against lawful and moral considerations. #BoycottRussia”


    Credit: Twitter @DefenceU

    Twitter users responded quickly to the Defence of Ukraine’s tweet on the Italian company , with one user posting: “Don’t EU sanction prevent this sort of crap?”

    Another user posted:  “It’s in the bl**dy logo right there, just have a look”

    Another user said: “What a horror story, this. The 🇮🇹s, as @mraz1313 often & rightly says, should be made to feel shame. Capital can be the dirty bedfellow of#AnAilingConscience”

    “Some people’s greed amazes me,” stated another Twitter user.

    The Italian company, Danieli Group,  is an Italian supplier of equipment and physical plants in the metal industry. Based in the north-eastern Italian territory of  Butrrio, the company is reportedly a world leader in its field.

    The news of Ukraine calling out the Italian company follows various European countries issuing further sanctions on Russia, with Norway stating:

    “We support the European Union in imposing sanctions against Russia in order to put pressure on the government of that country and its leadership. Now we are banning the import of oil from Russia to Norway via sea routes.”

    By Joshua Manning • 20 June 2022 • 14:59


    Find this story at 20 June 2022

    Italian company accused of supplying Russian military, even after invasion

    According to the message, these shipments have been ongoing even after Feb. 24 – the day Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

    “Supporting Russian military (-industrial) complex goes against lawful and moral considerations,” the ministry said.


    ·1 min read


    Find this story at 21 June 2022

    Over 1,000 Companies Have Curtailed Operations in Russia—But Some Remain

    Since the invasion of Ukraine began, we have been tracking the responses of well over 1,200 companies, and counting. Over 1,000 companies have publicly announced they are voluntarily curtailing operations in Russia to some degree beyond the bare minimum legally required by international sanctions — but some companies have continued to operate in Russia undeterred.

    Originally a simple “withdraw” vs. “remain” list, our list of companies now consists of five categories—graded on a school-style letter grade scale of A-F for the completeness of withdrawal.

    The list below is updated continuously by Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and his team of experts, research fellows, and students at the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute to reflect new announcements from companies in as close to real time as possible.

    Our list has already garnered extensive coverage for its role in helping catalyze the mass corporate exodus from Russia.

    When this list was first published the week of February 28, only several dozen companies had announced their departure. We are humbled that our list helped galvanize nearly 1,000 companies to withdraw in the two months since.

    Although we are pleased that our list has been widely circulated across company boardrooms, government officials, and media outlets as the most authoritative and comprehensive record of this powerful, historic movement, we are most inspired by the thousands of messages we have received from readers across the globe, especially those from Ukraine, and we continue to welcome your tips – preferably with documentation – as well as your insights, and feedback, at jeffrey.sonnenfeld.celi@yale.edu.

    For a sortable, detailed version of the list below, please visit our enhanced database where you can filter companies by letter grade, country, sector, and much more.

    Click here to watch President Zelenskyy’s interactive Q&A, hosted by Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and live-streamed by CNBC, with over 150 top US CEOs at the Yale CEO Summit in June 2022, and click here to read about President Zelenskyy’s key lessons for business leaders.

    Click here to read our recent SSRN working paper on the response across financial markets to our list, in which we demonstrate that investors are penalizing companies that remain in Russia.

    If you want to get in touch with the “D”-rated and “F”-rated companies found here, you may locate contact information on this non-Yale affiliated website: www.emailcontactukraine.com. We do not endorse nor certify the accuracy of this list of addresses, but in response to frequent requests, we are aware of this external non-Yale resource.

    Companies that are just continuing business-as-usual in Russia…

    Name Action Industry Country
    Acerinox still operating in Russia Materials Spain
    Agrana continue operating plant in Russia Consumer Staples Austria
    Agricultural Bank of China Russian companies open accounts with the bank; decline to comment Financials China
    Aimbridge | Interstate Hotels still operating in Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Air China still flying to Russia Industrials China
    Air Serbia still flying to Russia Industrials Serbia
    Alibaba still operating in Russia Consumer Discretionary China
    Align Technology still operating in Russia Health Care United States
    Alpina Žiri distributors in Russia Consumer Discretionary Slovenia
    Alumil Not disclosed publicly Materials Greece
    Anadolu Efes still operating in Russia Consumer Staples Turkey
    ANT Group joint venture with the Russian Sovereign Wealth Fund Information Technology China
    Anta Sports still operating and providing online sales to Russia Consumer Discretionary China
    Antal still operating and actively hiring in Russia Industrials United Kingdom
    AnyDesk Software still providing services to Russia; not disclosed publicly Information Technology Germany
    Ariston Group still operating and actively hiring in Russia Consumer Discretionary Italy
    Asics still operating in Russia; not disclosed publicly Consumer Discretionary Japan
    Auchan-Retail still operating in Russia Consumer Staples France
    AVL still operating in Russia Industrials Austria
    B. Braun still operating in Russia Health Care Germany
    Babolat still operating and selling to Russia Consumer Discretionary France
    Bajaj Auto business as usual Consumer Discretionary India
    Bekaert still manufacturing for the Russian market Industrials Belgium
    Benetton continue operations in Russia Consumer Discretionary Italy
    Bharat Petroleum (BPCL) bought 2 million barrels of Russian Urals for May loading Energy India
    Binbit Operating in Russia Communication Services Mexico
    Boggi still operating in Russia & online sales running Consumer Discretionary Italy
    Bonduelle still operating in Russia Consumer Staples France
    BPW still cooperating with dealers in Russia; not disclosed publicly Consumer Discretionary Germany
    Buzzi Unicem continue operating plants in Russia Materials Italy
    Cadence still operating in Russia; not disclosed publicly Information Technology United States
    Calzedonia continue sales in Russia Consumer Discretionary Italy
    Camille Albane franchised salons continue to operate Consumer Discretionary France
    CANPACK still operating in Russia Materials Poland
    Carl’s Jr. | CLK still operating in Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Cham Wings still flying to Russia Industrials Syria
    Charoen Pokphand Foods still operating in Russia Consumer Staples Thailand
    Check Point Software selling cybersecurity products in Russia Information Technology Israel
    China Communications Construction Company planning new infrastructural projects Industrials China
    China Construction Bank Russian companies open accounts with the bank; decline to comment Financials China
    China Life Insurance Company offices in Russia, actively looks for new Russian employees Financials China
    China Minmetals discussing investments with Chinese government to booster stakes in Russian energy and commodity companies Materials China
    China Mobile business as usual Communication Services China
    China National Petroleum Corporation business as usual Energy China
    China Railway Construction Corporation continues to build Vladivostok highway in March 2022 Industrials China
    China Railway Engineering Corporation business as usual Industrials China
    China State Construction Engineering contractor to the Russian state Industrials China
    China State Railway Group Company increasing coal shipments from Russia Industrials China
    China United Network Communications a subsidiary in Russia: China Unicom (Russia) Operations Limited Liability Company; business as usual Communication Services China
    Chipita Not disclosed publicly; still operating in Russia Consumer Staples Greece
    Clarins still selling online in Russia Consumer Discretionary France
    CLINTON still operating in Russia (Camp David) Consumer Discretionary Germany
    Cloudflare continue sales & services in Russia Information Technology United States
    Coal India expecting highest import level in 2 years Energy India
    Cofix Coffee maintains locations in Russia Consumer Staples Israel
    Colin’s still selling online Consumer Discretionary Turkey
    Corendon Airlines still flying to Russia Industrials Turkey
    Covestro still operating in Russia Materials Germany
    Cremonini Group continue sales in Russia Consumer Staples Italy
    De Cecco continue sales and operations in Russia Consumer Staples Italy
    Deep in Russia still offering trips to Russia Industrials Belgium
    Dessange International still operating salons in Russia Consumer Discretionary France
    Didi explicitly reversed decision to exit Russia Industrials China
    Diesel still operating in Russia; not disclosed Consumer Discretionary Italy
    Doka still manufacturing in Russia; not disclosed Industrials Austria
    Dr Reddys Labs business as usual; plans new brands in Russia Health Care India
    Duol still operating in Russia Consumer Discretionary Slovenia
    Egger still operating in Russia Industrials Austria
    Egyptair still flying to Russia Industrials Egypt
    ELA Container still selling in Russia Industrials Germany
    ElvalHalcor Not disclosed publicly Materials Greece
    Emirates Airlines still flying to Russia Industrials United Arab Emirates
    EMS-Chemie still operating in Russia Materials Switzerland
    Etam still selling to Russia Consumer Discretionary France
    Etihad Airways still flying to Russia Industrials United Arab Emirates
    Eutelsat provide satellite TV services to Russia Communication Services France
    Faurecia still operating and advertising in Russia Consumer Discretionary France
    FAW Group remains silent on whether they will continue operations Industrials China
    Fenzi Group still operating in Russia Industrials Italy
    Fischer Sports still selling online Consumer Discretionary Austria
    Fleetcor business as usual Financials United States
    Fluidra continuing sales in Russia Industrials Spain
    Fondital still operating and investing in Russia Industrials Italy
    Foraco still operating in Russia Energy France
    Forever Living Products still operating in Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Freedom Holding still operating in Russia Financials Kazakhstan
    Fresenius still operating in Russia Health Care Germany
    Frigoglass still operating in Russia Industrials Greece
    Fujifilm still operating and advertising in Russia Information Technology Japan
    Gedeon Richter still operating in Russia Health Care Hungary
    Geoplin still purchasing Russian gas from Gazprom Energy Slovenia
    Giorgio Armani still operating in Russia Consumer Discretionary Italy
    Global Fashion Group still operating in Russia Consumer Discretionary Luxembourg
    Globus still operating in Russia Consumer Staples Germany
    Gorenje still operating in Russia Consumer Discretionary Slovenia
    Groupe Le Duff still operating in Russia Consumer Discretionary France
    Groupe Savencia still operates in Russia Consumer Staples France
    Grupo Borges | ITLV still operating in Russia Consumer Staples Spain
    Grupo Fuertes still operating in Russia Consumer Staples Spain
    Haier planning expansion in Russia Consumer Discretionary China
    Hampidjan still operating in Russia Industrials Iceland
    Hard Rock Café still operating in Russia Consumer Staples United States
    Heliski Russia cooperating with sanctioned individuals Industrials France
    Hengli Group business as usual Energy China
    Heraeus still operating in Russia Industrials Germany
    Herend still operating in Russia Consumer Discretionary Hungary
    Hindalco business as usual Materials India
    Hoffmann Group still operating and advertising in Russia Industrials Germany
    Honor business as usual Information Technology China
    Huntsman Corporation still operating in Russia Materials United States
    Ideal Molde still selling to Russia Industrials Portugal
    Indian Oil Corporation signed new deal to import Russian oil Energy India
    Industrial Bank (China) offices operating in Moscow, did not answer for Reuters’ calls for commenting on that Financials China
    International Baccalaureate Organization still offers professional development services to Russian teachers NGO Netherlands
    International Paper still operating in Russia Materials United States
    IQVIA still operating and actively hiring Industrials United States
    Itochu continues oil & gas exploration partnerships Consumer Staples Japan
    JD.com business as usual – the Russian store is still fully operational Industrials China
    JDE Peet’s still operating in Russia Consumer Staples Netherlands
    Jean Cacharel still selling and advertising in Russia Consumer Discretionary France
    JSW Steel business as usual Materials India
    Kemin still operating in Russia; declined to commend Health Care United States
    Kidzania Operating facility in Russia Communication Services Mexico
    KION Group still operating in Russia; not disclosed publicly Industrials Germany
    Kleemann Not disclosed publicly Industrials Greece
    Knarr Maritime members still operating in Russia Industrials Iceland
    Koch Industries considering options for an exit; continuing operations Industrials United States
    Kotanyi still exporting to Russia Consumer Staples Austria
    Koton still advertising and selling to Russia Consumer Discretionary Turkey
    Krka still operating in Russia Health Care Slovenia
    Kronospan still operating in Russia Materials Austria
    Kweichow Moutai business as usual Consumer Staples China
    La Redoute still selling products to Russia Consumer Discretionary France
    Lacoste still operating in Russia Consumer Discretionary France
    LACTALIS still operating in Russia Consumer Staples France
    Larsen & Toubro business as usual Real Estate India
    Legrand still operating in Russia Industrials France
    Lemken still operating and advertising in Russia Industrials Germany
    Leptos Estates continues operations in Russia Real Estate Cyprus
    Leroy Merlin still operating in Russia Consumer Discretionary France
    Letique Cosmetics maintains stores in Russia Consumer Staples Latvia
    Liebherr No action taken; still operating in Russia Industrials Switzerland
    LiSEC still operating in Russia Industrials Austria
    Luka Koper continuing trans shipments Industrials Slovenia
    Mahindra & Mahindra business as usual Consumer Discretionary India
    Mahle still operating in Russia Industrials Germany
    Makita still working with dealers in Russia Industrials Japan
    Makrochem SA still operating in Russia Industrials Poland
    Match Group continue to operate in Russia including Tinder Communication Services United States
    Maxam still operating in Russia Materials Spain
    Medtronic continue operating subsidiary in Russia Health Care United States
    Micro-Star International Co. (MSi) still operating in Russia Information Technology Taiwan
    Mitsubishi Heavy Industries still operating in Russia Industrials Japan
    Mitsui continuing operations within sanctions compliance & shares in Sakhalin-2 project Materials Japan
    Mizuho Financial Group still operating in Russia Financials Japan
    Mod’s Hair still operates in Russia Consumer Discretionary France
    MOLGroup still operating in Russia Energy Hungary
    MSU S.A. still operating in Russia Consumer Discretionary Poland
    New Yorker Marketing & Media GmbH continue to operate and open new stores Industrials Germany
    Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation continues to operate cloud services in Russia Communication Services Japan
    NIS Serbia partnership with Gazprom Neft; Gazprom has a 50% stake in NIS Energy Serbia
    Oasis Logistics Corp “We are actively exploring opportunities to work with our Russian partners” Industrials China
    OBO Bettermann still operating in Russia Industrials Germany
    OCSiAl still running research center and branch Information Technology Luxembourg
    OKI still operating in Russia; not disclosed Information Technology Japan
    ONGC aggressive selling of Russian Sokoil to other Indian Nationalised Energy corps Energy India
    Oppo business as usual Information Technology China
    Orano still operating in Russia Energy France
    Paccar still active in Russia; deny comments Industrials United States
    Patreon still providing services to Russia Financials United States
    Pegasus still flying to Russia Industrials Turkey
    Perfetti Van Melle still operating in Russia; not disclosed publicly Consumer Staples Italy
    Philips online sales still available in Russia Consumer Discretionary Netherlands
    Pidilite Ind business as usual Materials India
    Plastika Kritis Not disclosed publicly Materials Greece
    Poly Real Estate a sister company is Poly Technologies, one of China’s largest arms exporters and has been sanctioned by the United States; in Russian tax registry Real Estate China
    Posco operating through a Russian subsidiary Materials South Korea
    PowerChina cooperating with a Russian bank “Solidarnost” on off-shore projectes Energy China
    Projahn still operating in Russia through a subsidiary Industrials Germany
    Provalliance Group (Jean Louis David) affiliates still operating in Russia Consumer Discretionary France
    Qatar Airways still flying to Russia Industrials Qatar
    Quicksilver online sales still running Consumer Discretionary United States
    Raba maintain commerical ties with Russian Kamaz Industrials Hungary
    Rabe Moden still advertising and selling to Russia via Telegram Consumer Discretionary Germany
    Raiffeisen Bank International still operating in Russia Financials Austria
    Remondis still operating in Russia; not disclosed publicly Industrials Germany
    Riko still operating in Russa Industrials Slovenia
    Riot Games still operating in and selling to Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Royal Swinkels Family Brewers still providing Russia with a license to brew products; intention to terminate the license Consumer Staples Netherlands
    Russia Fachspedition Dr. Lassmann still operating in Russia Industrials Austria
    SAIC Motor remains operational; plans to increase export Industrials China
    Sanatmetal still operating in Russia Health Care Hungary
    Sany Heavy Industries business as usual Industrials China
    Sarantis still operating in Russia Consumer Staples Greece
    Sbarro Pizza still operating in Russia and allowing placing online orders Consumer Discretionary United States
    Schoeller Bleckmann still operating in Russia Industrials Austria
    Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation defies US sanctions by continuting to export to Russia Information Technology China
    SGS still operating and actively advertising in Russia Industrials Switzerland
    Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical business as usual Health Care China
    Siemens Healthineers continue to support healthcare providers Health Care Germany
    Signet Armorite operating in Russia through a subsidiary Consumer Discretionary United States
    Sika still operating in Russia Industrials Switzerland
    Sisecam still operating in Russia through subsidiaries Materials Turkey
    SMC still operating in Russia Industrials Japan
    Société Bic still operating and actively hiring in Russia Consumer Discretionary France
    Stada Arzneimittel still operating in Russia Health Care Germany
    State Grid Corporation of China business as usual Utilities China
    Storck continue candy sales in Russia Consumer Staples Germany
    Stryker continue sales and imports to Russia Health Care United States
    Sun Pharma business as usual Health Care India
    SWISS KRONO still operating plant in Russia Industrials Switzerland
    Syngenta still operating in Russia Health Care China
    Synopsys still operating in Russia; not disclosed publicly Information Technology United States
    Sæplast not publically disclosed Materials Iceland
    Talgo still operating in Russia Industrials Spain
    Tencent major investment in VK Communication Services China
    Tenneco still operating in Russia; deny comments Consumer Discretionary United States
    TEPCO continues purchases of Russian gas Utilities Japan
    Teva no action taken; still operating Russia Health Care Israel
    TGI Friday’s still operating in Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    The China Coal Transportation and Distribution Association big power plants and about 20 Russian coal companies discussed plans to increase bilateral trade Energy China
    Titan International still operating in Russia Industrials United States
    Tom Ford still operating in Russia; not disclosed publicly Consumer Discretionary United States
    Tupperware still operating and actively hiring in Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Turkish Airlines still flying to Russia Industrials Turkey
    UniCredit Still operating in Russia Financials Italy
    Uzbekistan Airways still flying to Russia Industrials Uzbekistan
    Valeo still operating in Russia Consumer Discretionary France
    Valve still providing services to Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Vanke business as usual Real Estate China
    Veolia still operating in Russia Utilities France
    Vinci SA still operating in Russia Industrials France
    Vivo still operating in Russia Industrials China
    Wanhua Chemical Group still operating in Russia Materials China
    Wienerberger still operating in Russia Industrials Austria
    WIKA still operating in Russia Industrials Germany
    Wolffkran still operating in Russia Industrials Switzerland
    Xibao Metallurgy Materials Group building a refractory material plant in Lipetsk, Russia Industrials China
    Yazaki operating in Russia through a subsidiary Consumer Discretionary Japan
    Yokogawa still operating in Russia; not disclosed publicly Information Technology Japan
    Zepter still advertising and selling to Russia Consumer Discretionary Switzerland
    Zimmer Biomet continues sales in Russia Health Care United States
    ZTE business as usual Information Technology China
    Zwack Not disclosed publicly Consumer Staples Hungary

    Buying Time

    Holding Off New Investments/Development (160 Companies) (Grade: D)

    Companies postponing future planned investment/development/marketing while continuing substantive business…

    Name Action Industry Country
    Aalberts continue operations on an unspecified “lower” level & postpone investments Industrials Netherlands
    Abbott Laboratories suspend non-essential business activity Health Care United States
    Abbvie suspend aesthetics operations, pause new clinical trials Health Care United States
    Accor suspend new investments/development Consumer Discretionary France
    Accumalux still operating plant in Togliatti, Russia Consumer Discretionary Luxembourg
    Aegon ending new investments where has control over fund Financials Netherlands
    Air Liquide Some clients no longer supplied, others scaled down; all Russian investments on hold Materials France
    Airbus suspend supply of parts and deliveries/servicing, t but continue substantial titanium purchases from Russia Industrials Netherlands
    Akrapovič still operating in Russia Consumer Discretionary Slovenia
    Alcon suspend new investments and new clinical trial enrollment in Russia Health Care Switzerland
    AmerisourceBergen cease new business initiatives but continue existing clinical trials, and distributing health products Health Care United States
    Andbank investigate if Russian customers are subject to European sanctions Financials Andorra
    Andritz suspend unspecified new business in Russia for time being Industrials Austria
    Anecoop diverting sales away from Russia Consumer Staples Spain
    Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) unspecified scaling down of non-essential operations Consumer Staples United States
    Arconic pause new contracts but continue existing Materials United States
    AstraZeneca halt new investments/new clinical trials Health Care United Kingdom
    Aurubis AG monitor situation and review structures of Russian business partners Industrials Germany
    Aviva suspend new Russian investments Financials United Kingdom
    Bang & Bonsomer suspend new investments but still operating in Russia Materials Finland
    Barilla all new investments and advertising activities on hold; limit Russia production to pasta and bread Consumer Staples Italy
    Barry Callebaut suspend capital investment Consumer Staples Switzerland
    Bayer stopping unspecified non-essential business activity Health Care Germany
    Binance restrict Russian accounts with over €10,000 Financials China
    BlaBlaCar Stopped new investment but stays in Russia Information Technology France
    Boiron suspend new investments & stop clinical trials Health Care France
    Bolt remove all Russia-manufactured and Russian-branded goods Information Technology Estonia
    Bristol-Myers Squibb pause new trials & stop enrollment of new participants; still actively hiring in Russia Health Care United States
    Calfrac Well Services suspension of new investments in Russia Energy Canada
    Campari continue sales in Russia but suspend new investments Consumer Staples Italy
    CAPRI Holdings (Versace, Michael Kors, Jimmy Cho) online orders unavailable but still advertising; no information about on-site sales Consumer Discretionary United States
    Cargill unspecified scaling down of non-essential operations Consumer Staples United States
    Carmim suspend some orders in backlog Consumer Staples Portugal
    Citadele Banka still allows transactions to Russia but introduced more thorough checks Financials Latvia
    Colgate-Palmolive continue essential health and hygiene products Consumer Staples United States
    Corticeira Amorim commerical activity suspended Materials Portugal
    Crèdit Andorrà investigate if Russian customers are subject to European sanctions Financials Andorra
    Danone suspend all investment projects but continue dairy products; suspend imports of Evian and Alpro products Consumer Staples France
    Deceuninck stop investments & cut links with other establishments Industrials Belgium
    Delonghi paused new shipments and investments Consumer Discretionary Italy
    DMK Group suspend new investments/advertising but continue sales and plant operations in Russia Consumer Staples Germany
    Domino’s Pizza suspend royalty payments & limit investment – restaurants remain open Consumer Discretionary United States
    dōTERRA suspend new investment in Russia Consumer Staples United States
    Dr. Theiss suspend advertisement Health Care Germany
    Ecco suspend new investments still operating in Russia Consumer Discretionary Denmark
    Eesti Gaas continues to import Russian gas but is looking for alternatives Energy Estonia
    Ehrmann continue sales in Russia but suspend new investments Consumer Staples Germany
    Ekosem Agrar AG restructuring finances Consumer Staples Germany
    Eli Lilly suspend new investments and clinical trials Health Care United States
    Engie no new investments Utilities France
    ESL ban people with ties to Russian government NGO Germany
    FL Smidth no new business Industrials Denmark
    FM Global stopped renewing and underwriting new reinsurance Financials United States
    Focus Brands – Cinnabon no new investments and expansion plans on hold Industrials United States
    Freelancer still operating in Russia; sanctioned payment menthods disabled Information Technology Australia
    Freudenberg Group cease trading operations with Russia & Belarus; running plants in Russia Industrials Germany
    GEA Group suspend new investments Industrials Germany
    Geox suspend new investments Consumer Discretionary Italy
    GlaxoSmithKline stopped advertising/new clinical trials in Russia Health Care United Kingdom
    Glencore stop entering into new Russian commodities trading contracts but continue holding substantive Russian equity stakes Materials Switzerland
    Greif canceled future investments in Russia Materials United States
    GROUPE LIMAGRAIN/JACQUET-BROSSARD continues flows to Russian and Ukrainian producers but suspends its project to build a seed factory in Russia Industrials France
    Groupe Seb suspend new investments and “sharply” reduce activities in Russia Consumer Discretionary France
    Gruma halt new investments in Russia Consumer Staples Mexico
    GXO Logistics suspend new investments Industrials United States
    HeidelbergCement suspend all further investments Materials Germany
    Hellenic Bank maintain rep offices in Russia; observe all banking sactions Financials Cyprus
    Hellenic Petroleum seeks new oil supplier to replace Russian oil Energy Greece
    HERZ no new business in Russia Consumer Discretionary Austria
    Hilton suspend new investments/close corporate office Consumer Discretionary United States
    Hines suspend new investments in Russia Industrials United States
    HiPP suspend investments in Russia but continue substantive operations Consumer Staples Switzerland
    Hochland suspend investments but continues sales and plant operations in Russia Consumer Staples Germany
    HSBC curtail Russian access to capital markets and limit new business Financials United Kingdom
    Huawei suspend new orders and furlough some staff Information Technology China
    Hyatt suspend investments and new developments Consumer Discretionary United States
    Icosagen not start any new projects Industrials Estonia
    ID Logistics suspend new investment in Russia Industrials France
    ING Bank pause all new business Financials Netherlands
    Ingram Micro no new business in Russia Information Technology United States
    Intercontinental Hotels ended new investments/closed corporate office Consumer Discretionary United Kingdom
    Intermedia move some employees out of Russia and ambiguous reduction of risk exposure to Russia Communication Services United States
    Intesa Sanpaolo suspend new investments and curtail new financing Financials Italy
    J. Neves & Fihos (JNF) paused distribution Industrials Portugal
    Japan Tobacco stopped new investments and marketing activities in Russia Consumer Staples Japan
    Johnson & Johnson pause patient enrollment in ongoing trials Health Care United States
    KCA Deutag suspend investments Energy United Kingdom
    KDDI Corp continue operations with local staff Communication Services Japan
    Kimberly-Clark suspend new investments in Russia Consumer Staples United States
    Knauf still operating across 14 sites in Russia but suspend new investments Materials Germany
    Kraft Heinz – JBS stopped new investments and exports/imports from Russia Consumer Staples United States
    Kubíček VHS stop cooperation Industrials Czech Republic
    Laboratoire Servier suspending new investments but still operating in Russia Health Care France
    Lenovo reported to suspend operations in Russia Information Technology Hong Kong
    Loulis Mills search for alternative suppliers Consumer Staples Greece
    Maire Tecnimonet suspended commercial activities; managing existing backlog Industrials Italy
    Manitowoc stopped taking new orders, still maintaining office in Russia Industrials United States
    Marel paused new projects Consumer Staples Iceland
    Mavenir continue operating in Russia but very limited curtailment of some activities Information Technology United States
    Melamin making up for shortfall from sanctions Materials Slovenia
    Menarini Group stop advertisement and new investments; continue operating plant in Russia Health Care Italy
    Merck no further investments/clinical trial enrollment Health Care United States
    Merck still operating and actively hiring in Russia; restrict transactions Health Care Germany
    Metro stop all growth investments and reduce advertisements Consumer Staples Germany
    Mocapor paused exports Industrials Portugal
    Mohawk Industries suspend new investments in Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Mondelez – Nabisco scaling back unspecified non-essential activities in Russia Consumer Staples United States
    National Oilwell Varco suspend all new investments in Russia Energy United States
    Nature’s Sunshine suspend shipments into Russia but not sales Consumer Staples United States
    Naust Marine stopped projects in Russia Industrials Iceland
    Nestle halted non-essential imports/exports to Russia, stopped all advertising, and suspended all capital investment Consumer Staples Switzerland
    Nippon Steel searching to replace Russian supplies Materials Japan
    Nor-Maali stop further investments Industrials Finland
    Novartis pause all new capital investments, media advertising and other promotions; pause new clinical trials and enrollment of new patients Health Care Switzerland
    Novo Nordisk suspend further marketing and clinical investment; pause new clinical trials and active enrollment Health Care Denmark
    NTPC difficulty in transacting with Russian counterparties due to SWIFT issues etc Utilities India
    Olam Group ceased imports into Russia Consumer Staples Singapore
    OMV no new Russian investments; doing strategic review of current Russian gas investments Energy Austria
    Palfinger reduced production Industrials Austria
    Pfizer stopped new investments/clinical trials in Russia Health Care United States
    Polpharma stop all new investments and limit deliveries to essential drugs only Health Care Poland
    Pottinger limited deliveries to Russia sales subsidiary Industrials Austria
    Procter & Gamble scale back unspecified operations in Russia and stop new investments Consumer Staples United States
    Red Bull suspend new investments Consumer Staples Austria
    RHI Magnesita selling down existing stocks in Russia Industrials Austria
    Ritter Sport halt new investments and advertising Consumer Staples Germany
    Roche pause new site activation and patient enrollment; continue operating Health Care Switzerland
    Rockwool cancel new investments in Russia Industrials Denmark
    Saipem halt new investments Industrials Italy
    Sanofi halting advertising and promotional spending and new recruitment of patients clinical trials, continue medical supply and treating current patients Health Care France
    Sarens new projects cancelled Industrials Belgium
    SC Johnson stopped new investments and scaled back unspecified operations Consumer Staples United States
    Schlumberger stopped new investment and technology deployment to our Russia operations Energy United States
    SCHOTT suspend investments in Russia Materials Germany
    Siemens Energy AG (Independent) freeze new business in Russia Industrials Germany
    Sigma Group Stop cooperation Industrials Czech Republic
    Signify suspend only exports to Russia and investments and new business Consumer Discretionary Netherlands
    Snap halt advertisement Communication Services United States
    Soudal cancel investments in a brand new factory in Russia; but maintain other activities Materials Belgium
    SRV outline steps to stop procurement of building materials from Russia Materials Finland
    Subway suspend new investments/advertising Consumer Staples United States
    Sumitomo Mitsui Financial continue operations with local staff Financials Japan
    Technip Energies continuing existing projects; no new business Energy France
    TMF Group suspend new contracts; cotinue supporting current customers Industrials Netherlands
    TOM Tailor no official statement; online sales suspended but advertising continues Consumer Discretionary Germany
    Toshiba Group stop all new investments in Russia Information Technology Japan
    Toshulin Stopped cooperation Industrials Czech Republic
    Toyota Tsusho Stopped exports and imports of auto parts to and from Russia Materials Japan
    TZMO stopped new investments Consumer Staples Poland
    Unilever stopped inports/exports and stopped all advertising and investments Consumer Staples United Kingdom
    UnionPay Suspended issuing bank cards to Russian Banks Financials China
    Vestas continue operations but no new contracts Energy Denmark
    Vimeo not accept new customers from Russia Communication Services United States
    Weatherford International suspend new investments/deployments in Russia Energy United States
    Welltec suspend all new investments in Russia Energy Denmark
    Wintershall Dea AG maintain Russian natural gas projects and critical infrastructure; write-off Nord Stream2 loans Energy Germany
    Xiaomi reported to suspend operations in Russia Information Technology China
    Yokohama decision to renew production in Russia despite previous announcements to halt production Consumer Discretionary Japan
    Young Living suspend new investments in Russia Consumer Staples United States
    Yves Rocher suspend new investments/development Consumer Staples France

    Scaling Back

    Reducing Current Operations (168 Companies) (Grade: C)

    Companies that are scaling back some significant business operations but continuing some others…

    Name Action Industry Country
    ABB temporarily pausing all new orders and operational activity Industrials Switzerland
    Activision Blizzard suspend new sales of and in our games in Russia Communication Services United States
    Adobe suspend all new sales in Russia and Belarus; current services continue Information Technology United States
    AGCO stop sale of new machines to Russia Industrials United States
    AkzoNobel suspend new investments in Russia; end Aerospace work Materials Netherlands
    Allianz meaningfully reduce exposure to Russia Financials Germany
    Alphabet withdraw all operations in Moscow; stop taking new customers; stop ads Communication Services United States
    Amadeus IT Group suspend partnership with Aeroflot Information Technology Spain
    Amgen suspend all non-essential business activities; keep delivering some medicines Health Care United States
    AmRest suspend operations with some brands in Russia Consumer Discretionary Spain
    ASBIS amends contracts following new sanctions Information Technology Cyprus
    Aspo reducing operations in Russia Industrials Finland
    Avaya limit certain services; cease new maintenance and support arrangements Information Technology United States
    Bacardi paused exports to Russia but not domestic operations Consumer Staples Bermuda
    Bank of Cyprus maintain loan book; observe banking sanctions Financials Cyprus
    Beiersdorf maintain skin and bodycare products; stop other products Consumer Staples Germany
    Black Red White divesting from Russian subsidiary, still has a significant stake in a company operating in Belarus, which also suspended Russian exports Consumer Discretionary Poland
    BNY Mellon suspend new business activity and investments; continue cooperation with current clients Financials United States
    Boehringer Ingelheim scale back to just supplying medicine Health Care Germany
    Bosch suspend some shipments and plants but not all Industrials Germany
    Boston Scientific suspend all new investment and non-essential activity Health Care United States
    Brenntag suspend exports to Russia; no information about local operations Materials Germany
    Bucher Industries not specified business activities in Russia were reduced “substantially” Industrials Switzerland
    Bunge suspend exports but continue certain domestic Consumer Staples United States
    Bureau Veritas scaled back Industrials France
    Carl Zeiss Health Care Germany
    Carrier not pursue new business opportunities but continue fulfilling existing contracts Industrials United States
    Carter’s | Oshkosh stop all shipments of merchandise to Russia Industrials United States
    Caterpillar suspend minor Russian manufacturing facilities but not import sales Industrials United States
    CHR Hansen suspend operations outside of staple food products Materials Denmark
    Coca-Cola suspend certain operations in Russia but continue to operate some chains (Costa Coffee) Consumer Staples United States
    Coinbase block certain illicit Russian accounts but not all Financials United States
    Confor Step Stopped producing or shipping to Russia Consumer Discretionary Portugal
    Continental resumed local production after having previously suspended Russian factory Consumer Discretionary Germany
    Corning suspend almost all sales in Russia except minor life-saving products Information Technology United States
    Credit Suisse stop new business in Russia while meaningfully cutting exposure by 56% Financials Switzerland
    Danske Bank ban Russian investments in customers’ portfolios Financials Denmark
    DB Schenker suspend direct shipments to Russia; continue Europe to Kazakhstan and Russia to Kazakhstan routes Industrials Germany
    Deere suspend shipments into Russia only Industrials United States
    Discord suspend renewal of paid and premium products and services for Russian clients; free services still available Communication Services United States
    Donaldson Company stop direct product shipments into Russia & Belarus; no statement about operations inside Russia nor about partnerships Industrials United States
    Dover Corporation ramping down sales activity and focusing on liquidating working capital Industrials United States
    Dow suspend investments/some purchases but not all Materials United States
    Duolingo make services free and stop gaining revenue Information Technology United States
    E.ON stop buying new Russian gas Utilities Germany
    Eaton stop shipments to Russia; maintains services Industrials United States
    Eimskip reduced operation in Russia Industrials Iceland
    Elanco scale back to critical products to ensure food security Health Care United States
    Elsevier suspended all sales except essential health products Communication Services Netherlands
    Eni suspend stipulation of new oil contracts; divest from investmens for rubles Energy Italy
    Epic Games stop in-game commerce for Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Esri curtail sales to Russia; no information about Russian office Information Technology United Kingdom
    Ferrero suspend non-essential business activity Consumer Staples Italy
    Fieldfisher terminate certain Russian relationships Industrials United Kingdom
    FIGMA continue current business & stop all new sales efforts in Russia Information Technology United States
    Fortive suspend most operations except medical essentials Industrials United States
    Gap Inc online sales running; stopped shipments to franchisees in Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Garmin stop all future trade with Russia; still provide GPS services to devices in Russia (incl. Russian military) Consumer Discretionary United States
    GE stopped sales in Russia and Belarus except medical equipment and support for electric power generation and transmission Industrials United States
    General Mills suspended sales of global brands in its JV Consumer Staples United States
    Geodis suspend services in Russia & reduce shipments to and from Russia significantly Industrials France
    Georg Fischer temporary suspension of deliveries to Russia Industrials Switzerland
    Goldman Sachs wind down business in Russia but buy Russian debt Financials United States
    Groupe BPCE suspend many transactions and cease new financing Financials France
    Halliburton suspend future business in Russia and wind down certain contracts Energy United States
    Hellenic Bottling Company vaguely suspend some operations in Russia Consumer Staples Greece
    Herbalife suspend sales and shipments to Russia but independent sellers remain operational Consumer Staples United States
    HILTI limiting sales and workforce in Russia Industrials Liechtenstein
    Hostinger stop accepting payments for new purchases and renewals Information Technology Lithuania
    Idemitsu Kosan stop coal imports; lubricants business unchanged Energy Japan
    Indesit suspend production due to “full warehouses” Consumer Discretionary Italy
    IndusInd Bank can no longer clear rupee rouble conversions Financials India
    Ingersoll Rand scale back to only health critical services Industrials United States
    Ingka stop all exports, IKEA production; keep open retail centers (Mega) Consumer Discretionary Netherlands
    Inspire Brands (Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin Robins) halt corporate support for franchisees Consumer Discretionary United States
    International Biathlon Union Russians to compete as neutral athletes NGO Austria
    IPG Photonics suspend new investments and reduce manufacturing in Russia Information Technology United States
    Iskratel paused some business with Russia Communication Services Slovenia
    Iveco suspend deliveries to Russia; truck JV still in operations Industrials Italy
    J&T Finance Group curb its activities in Russia Financials Slovakia
    Jägermeister paused business with Russia & Belarus and discontinue marketing; no information about Consumer Staples Germany
    JPMorgan wind down business in Russia but buy Russian debt Financials United States
    Julius Baer wind down Russian office, suspend new business in Russia, reduce current exposure; retain current Russian clients Financials Switzerland
    Kearney suspend new work with Russian clients Industrials United States
    Kellogg suspend new investments except essentials (minor) Consumer Staples United States
    Kotak Mahindra paused transaction through cards in Russia Financials India
    Kuehne + Nagel AG suspend all shipments to Russia (except Pharma, healthcare and humanitarian supplies) Industrials Switzerland
    Legal & General reduce exposure Financials United Kingdom
    Linde divest certain industrial assets and suspend new development/investments Materials Germany
    Lotos stopped purchasing Russian spot oil Energy Poland
    Loyalty Ventures scale back most services and stop new sales Consumer Discretionary United States
    Luxottica restrict Russian operations to medical services Consumer Discretionary Italy
    LyondellBasell end all business with state-controlled entities Materials Netherlands
    Mars scale back business and stopped advertising/new investments/exports in Russia Consumer Staples United States
    Marubeni scaling down but still in numerous projects across Russia Industrials Japan
    Maruti Suzuki suspend car exports Consumer Discretionary India
    Mashreqbank halt loans to Russia Financials United Arab Emirates
    Microsoft suspend new sales in Russia but continue existing access Information Technology United States
    Miele suspend operations except exempt healthcare Consumer Discretionary Germany
    Milliken & Co still operating in Russia Materials United States
    Miro close office in Moscow & pause new sales Information Technology Netherlands
    Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Japanese expats working for MUFG Bank (Eurasia) have moved out of Russia to work outside of the country on a temporary basis Financials Japan
    Moody’s suspend commercial operations within Russia Financials United States
    Nalco Water (Ecolab) suspended services except services critical to health Industrials United States
    Natura suspend some subsidiary operations but not all Consumer Staples United States
    Nemetschek Group suspend any new business in Russia & all business with sanctioned entities Information Technology Germany
    NielsenIQ suspend consulting service but not core business Industrials United States
    Nokian Tyres meaningfully reduce production in Russia Consumer Discretionary Finland
    Nordea Bank stop processing payments to and from Russia & Belarus Financials Finland
    Norsk Hydro reduced deliveries and supplies to the contractual minimum for some commitments, and is suspending deliveries and supply in several contracts Materials Norway
    Okta halt new sales to Russia but continue supporting current customers Information Technology United States
    Oriflame Cosmetics suspend online sales to end consumers but not others Consumer Staples Switzerland
    Orion stop exports to Russia Health Care Finland
    Orsted end coal and biomass purchases, refuse to pay for gas in roubles Utilities Denmark
    Otis Worldwide exploring options for exit; while no new investments/new contracts but fulfill existing agreements Industrials United States
    OTP Bank wind down corporate lending Financials Hungary
    Paul Wurth stopped new business, closed sites, and scaled back serviceds Industrials Luxembourg
    Pepsi suspend operations in Russia except essentials Consumer Staples United States
    Phibro Animal Health Corp curtail some operations (i.e. ethanol) and substantial sales hit Health Care United States
    Philip Morris explore strategic alternatives, while stop new investments including $150MM, paused marketing, canceled product launches Consumer Staples United States
    Pirelli suspend new investments in Russia and scale back production Consumer Discretionary Italy
    PKN Orlen SA stopped maritime oil shipments, diversifying supply Energy Poland
    Playtika temporarily block new downloads games in Russia Information Technology Israel
    PPG scale back majority of operations and suspend new investments in Russia Materials United States
    Rational suspend deliveries to Russia but retain operations inside Russia Consumer Discretionary Germany
    Rosenbauer no new business; continue servicing fire engine pumps in Russian JV Industrials Austria
    Royal DSM stopped all operations in Russia other than basic food/feed/essential health activities Materials Netherlands
    Sabre suspend certain partnerships with Aeroflot Information Technology United States
    Saint-Gobain suspend exports and imports but not local operations Industrials France
    SAP stop all sales to Russia and shut down cloud operations but some carveouts Information Technology Germany
    SBI stopped processing transactions of sanctioned Russian entities Financials India
    Schaeffler stop deliveries to Russia; continue manufacturing in Russia Industrials Germany
    Scopely suspend marketing and commerce Communication Services United States
    Shutterstock not accept new contributors from Russia; continue current businesses & still offer services to Russia Communication Services United States
    SHV suspend new investments, new projects, new exports; continue to work with suppliers and customers in Russia Energy Netherlands
    Signet Jewelers suspend business interaction with Russian-owned entities; no information about other Russian customers Consumer Discretionary United States
    Sinopec suspend $500MM new investment and significant operations and partnerships Energy China
    Skadden suspend certain operations in Russia but not all Industrials United States
    Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken scaling down operations in Russia Financials Sweden
    Sketchers suspended shipments to Russia but online sales continue Consumer Discretionary United States
    Spotify closed office and suspend service but still allow Kremlin-associated artists (e.g. Gazmanov, Gagarina) Communication Services Sweden
    Tchibo suspend coffee deliveries but not other lines Consumer Staples Germany
    Tennant substantially suspending sales to Russia Industrials United States
    Terex Corporation stop accepting new orders from continuing dealer network in Russia Industrials United States
    Tetra Pak stopped new investments and scaled down activities Industrials Sweden
    ThyssenKrupp Stopped new business and investments. Closed plant Materials Germany
    Tikkurila reduce Russian operations; stop sales to aerospace; consider exiting Russia Materials Finland
    Tokio Marine suspend new contracts and repatriate employees Financials Japan
    TomTom turn off live traffic for Russia, cut ties with several Russian customers, some customers are still under review Information Technology Netherlands
    Total Energies no longer will provide capital for new projects in Russia/stop purchasing Russian oil; withdraw from Acrtic LNG 2 project Energy France
    Toyota stop production at its St. Petersburg plant and stop imports of vehicles; no statement about retail operations and services inside Russia Consumer Discretionary Japan
    Trafigura freeze investments and stop purchasing crude oil from Rosneft; maintain shareholding in Russia Energy Singapore
    Triglav Group not renewing or entering into new business Financials Slovenia
    Tungsram stopped producing products and projects Utilities Hungary
    U.S. Polo Assn. stopped all shipments of goods into Russia and shut down all branded digital operations but phased approach to closing physical stores Consumer Discretionary United States
    UBS suspend new business in Russia and reduce current exposure by helping clients unwind Russia securities; reducing Russian client services Financials Switzerland
    Uniper SE suspend new Russian gas purchases/divest Unipro Utilities Germany
    Vaillant Group stop delivering appliances; no statement about work inside Russia Industrials Germany
    Valentino suspend online sales; no information about on-site sales Consumer Discretionary Italy
    Vattenfall shifting energy purchases away from Russia Utilities Sweden
    Wartsila suspend all deliveries and new sales to Russia; continue ongoing projects Industrials Finland
    Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corp stopped sales to Russia Industrials United States
    Whirlpool limiting production in Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Wilo stop shipments to and from Russia; no comment about production in Russia Industrials Germany
    Wolters Kluwer scale back to just health products in Russia Financials Netherlands
    Yum Brands suspend operations of company-owned restaurants and new investments in Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    ZF Friedrichshafen stop all deliveries to Russia; maintain JVs Consumer Discretionary Germany
    Zoetis suspend investments & focus on supply of medicines and vaccines Health Care United States


    Keeping Options Open for Return (496 Companies) (Grade: B)

    Companies temporarily curtailing most or nearly all operations while keeping return options open…

    Name Action Industry Country
    3M suspend operations in Russia Industrials United States
    AAK halted delivery and sales Consumer Staples Sweden
    Abrdn suspend investments in Russia and reduce exposure Financials United Kingdom
    ACCA suspend operations in Russia and Belarus Industrials United Kingdom
    Acer suspend its business in Russia Information Technology Taiwan
    Acne Studios put all Russian activities on hold Consumer Discretionary Sweden
    Adamed halt sales and production in Russia Health Care Poland
    Adidas suspend operations in Russia Consumer Discretionary Germany
    ADP suspend sales/services to Russia Information Technology United States
    AICPA suspend sale and delivery of services indefinitely Industrials United States
    Air Astana suspend flights to Russia Industrials Kazakhstan
    Air France halt flight to and from Russia Industrials France
    Air Malta suspend all flights to and from Russia Industrials Malta
    Airbnb block bookings and block accepting guests in Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Akamai suspend sales in Russia Information Technology United States
    Akin Gump suspend operations in Russia Industrials United States
    AL-KO Vehicle Technology suspend deliveries to Russia and Belarus Consumer Discretionary Germany
    Alaska Airlines temporarily suspend partnership with Russian airline Industrials United States
    Alimentation Couche-Tard suspend operations Consumer Staples Canada
    Alstom suspend shipments to Russia Industrials France
    AM Best suspend all commercial activities to Russian clients Information Technology United States
    Amazon suspend operations in Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Ambarella suspend shipments into Russia Information Technology United States
    AMD suspend all sales to Russia Information Technology United States
    Amdocs stop all new sales of product and services in Russia Information Technology United States
    Amer Sports suspend all commercial activities in Russia Consumer Discretionary Finland
    American Airlines pause agreements with Russian airlines Industrials United States
    American Express suspend operations in Russia Financials United States
    Amica suspended Russian exports Consumer Discretionary Poland
    Amway suspend operations in Russia Consumer Staples United States
    Analog Devices suspend sales to Russia according to sanctions Information Technology United States
    Ansys suspend all sales and business activity Information Technology United States
    Aon PLC suspend operations in Russia Financials United Kingdom
    Apple suspend all official site sales; turn off select apps and services Information Technology United States
    Arla suspends all operations Consumer Staples Denmark
    ARM suspend shipments according to sanctions Information Technology United Kingdom
    Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank curtail Russian access to capital markets Financials China
    Asos suspend all shipments to Russia Consumer Discretionary United Kingdom
    Association of International Certified Professional Accountants indefinite suspension of services within Russia Industrials United States
    Aston Martin suspend all shipments to Russia Consumer Discretionary United Kingdom
    Asus suspend shipments to Russia Information Technology Taiwan
    Atlas Copco suspend deliveries in Russia Industrials Sweden
    Atlassian suspend software sales to Russia Information Technology Australia
    Audi suspend operations at Kaluga assembly plant Consumer Discretionary Germany
    Austrian Airlines cancel Russian flights until July Industrials Austria
    Authentic Brands Group – Reebok successfully completed suspension of all operations Consumer Discretionary United States
    Autodesk suspend operations in Russia Information Technology United States
    Avast suspend all operations in Russia Information Technology Czech Republic
    AXA stop underwriting new insurance & stop renewals Financials France
    AXA Investments Managers pause investments & prohibit new subscriptions Financials France
    Azerbaijan Airlines suspend flights to Russia Industrials Azerbaijan
    B Lab suspend Russian companies from obtaining certifications NGO United States
    Badminton World Federation cancel all tournaments NGO Malaysia
    Bain suspend consulting for all Russian businesses Industrials United States
    Baker Hughes no longer provide engineering services to Russian LNG developers Energy United States
    Bang & Olufsen suspended deliveries and sales to Russia Information Technology Denmark
    Bank of China curtail Russian access to capital markets Financials China
    BCG suspend operations; Moscow office open Industrials United States
    Bentley suspend all shipments to Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Bentley Systems pause sales to Russia & Belarus Information Technology United States
    Big Fish Games suspend downloadable game business in Russia Communication Services United States
    Bitdefender suspend all sales to Russia Information Technology Romania
    BlackBerry cease all activities in Russia Information Technology Canada
    BMC suspend all business with Russia & Belarus Information Technology United States
    BMW suspend exports to and production in Russia Consumer Discretionary Germany
    BNP Paribas suspend new business in Russia/curtail financing Financials France
    Boeing suspend operations in Russia/titanium purchases Industrials United States
    Bombardier restrict Russian business Industrials Canada
    Boohoo Group suspend all shipments to Russia Consumer Discretionary United Kingdom
    Booking suspend bookings in Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Boosteroid Cloud Gaming suspend services to Russia Information Technology United Arab Emirates
    Boryszew suspended operations in Russia Materials Poland
    Brav suspend sales and operations in Russia Consumer Discretionary Norway
    Bridgestone Tire suspend manufacturing in Russia and shipments into Consumer Discretionary Japan
    British Airways cancel Russian flights Industrials United Kingdom
    Brown-Forman suspend commercial operations in Russia Consumer Staples United States
    BUDVAR Centrum Sp. z.o.o. Industrials Poland
    Budweiser Budvar suspends production and supply of beer Consumer Staples Czech Republic
    Bulgaria Air suspend flights to Russia Industrials Bulgaria
    Bulgarian Postbank stop operations in Russian ruble Financials Bulgaria
    bunq.com suspend SWIFT transfers to sanctioned banks Financials Netherlands
    Burberry suspend all shipments to Russia Consumer Discretionary United Kingdom
    Burger King (Restaurant Brands) halt corporate support for franchises Consumer Staples United States
    Buta Airways suspend flights to Russia Industrials Azerbaijan
    Canada Goose suspend all shipments to Russia Consumer Discretionary Canada
    Canadian Tire close Russia stores Consumer Discretionary Canada
    Canon suspend deliveries in Russia Information Technology Japan
    Canonical suspend support & professional services Information Technology United Kingdom
    Capgemini stop services to Russia Information Technology France
    Cargolux suspend all shipments into and through Russia Industrials Luxembourg
    Cargotec stop all sales to Russia & Belarus Industrials Finland
    CBRE discontinue Russian business Real Estate United States
    CCC suspends operations in Russia (delivery to Russia, further expansion) Consumer Discretionary Poland
    CD Projekt suspends sales of products in Russia & Belarus Communication Services Poland
    CERN suspend Russia’s obeserver status; halt new collaborations NGO Switzerland
    Chanel suspend all operations in Russia Consumer Discretionary France
    Chevron Pausing all transactions and sales of refining products, lubricants, and chemicals Energy United States
    Chipperfield suspend operations in Russia Industrials United Kingdom
    Cie Automotives temporarily shut down aluminum plant Consumer Discretionary Spain
    Ciena suspend business operations in Russia Communication Services United States
    Citi expand the scope of the exit process Financials United States
    Citrix suspend all sales to Russia Information Technology United States
    Cleary Gottlieb suspend Russian operations Industrials United States
    Clorox suspend business activity in Russia Consumer Staples United States
    Clutch suspend all business activity Industrials United States
    CMA CGM suspend all shipments to Russia Industrials France
    CME Group suspend acceptance of certain Russian commodities Financials United States
    CNH Industrial suspend sales to Russia Industrials United Kingdom
    Cogent Communications cut all internet to Russia Communication Services United States
    Columbia Sportswear pause taking any new orders from Russian distributor & remove future sales Consumer Discretionary United States
    Commerzbank suspend operations in Russia Financials Germany
    Conde Nast suspend all publishing operations Communication Services United States
    Conformis suspend distribution operations in Russia Health Care United States
    Costco stopped purchases from Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Coupa suspend operations in Russia Information Technology United States
    Coursera platform available; refrain from financial benefits from the region; suspend some content Consumer Discretionary United States
    Credit Agricole suspend all services in Russia Financials France
    Crocs suspend D2C business Consumer Discretionary United States
    Curve no longer allow Russian payment cards & transaction in RUB Financials United Kingdom
    Cyprus Airways suspend flights to Russia Industrials Cyprus
    d&b audiotechnik suspend all shipments to Russia Consumer Discretionary Germany
    DACHSER suspend deliveries to Russia Industrials Germany
    Daimler Truck freeze activities in Russia Consumer Discretionary Germany
    Damen stop supplying ships to Russia, halt new contracts Industrials Netherlands
    Danaher suspended shipments to Russia except for humanitarian medical products Health Care United States
    Dassault Aviation suspend all shipments to Russia Industrials France
    Dassault Systèmes suspend business operations in Russia Information Technology France
    Debevoise & Plimpton Wind down Russia operations; local partners and counsel open Russian business Industrials United States
    Decathlon suspend the operation of its stores in Russia Consumer Discretionary France
    Deckers suspend business in Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Dell suspend all shipments to Russia Information Technology United States
    Demant suspend all trade with Russia Health Care Denmark
    Denso suspend all shipments into Russia Consumer Discretionary Japan
    Depositphotos stop all sales and services to Russia Consumer Discretionary Ukraine
    DHL suspend all shipments to Russia Industrials Germany
    Diadora suspend contracts with Russian commercial partners Consumer Discretionary Italy
    Diageo suspend all shipments to Russia Consumer Staples United Kingdom
    Diebold Nixdorf suspend shipments and sales of any kind into Russia. Information Technology United States
    DirecTV cut Kremlin backed TV networks Communication Services United States
    Discover suspend efforts to establish Russian presence Communication Services United States
    Disney pause new content releases Communication Services United States
    DJI stop selling drones in Russia Information Technology China
    DKV Mobility stop all activity for Russian domestic business Information Technology Germany
    Dreamstime restrict download plans and payments for Russian customers Communication Services United States
    DSV A/S suspend all shipments to Russia Industrials Denmark
    DuPont suspend operations in Russia and Belarus Materials United States
    eBay suspend all shipments to Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    EDF suspend Moscow office Utilities France
    eDreams ODIGEO cease all operations involving Russia Consumer Discretionary Spain
    Edrington suspend all shipments to Russia Consumer Staples United Kingdom
    Egon Zehnder stop operations in Russia Industrials United States
    Electrolux suspending all shipments into Russia Consumer Discretionary Sweden
    Elopak suspends all activities Materials Norway
    Embraer suspend supplying parts and services to Russia Industrials Brazil
    Epiroc pause all deliveries to Russia and no operations domestically Consumer Staples Sweden
    Eppendorf SE suspend exports to Russia; keep rep office open Health Care Germany
    Epson suspend exports to Russia & Belarus Consumer Discretionary Japan
    Equinix suspend Russian partnerships and customers Real Estate United States
    Ericsson suspend all shipments to Russia Information Technology Sweden
    ESET suspend all sales to Russia Information Technology Slovakia
    Estee Lauder suspend operations in Russia Consumer Staples United States
    European University Association cease cooperation with governmental agencies in Russia NGO Belgium
    Exiger halting all activity and due diligence in Russia Industrials United States
    Exor holding company’s assets are suspending operations Financials Netherlands
    Famur suspend Russian exports Industrials Poland
    Farfetch suspend all shipments to Russia Consumer Discretionary United Kingdom
    FedEx suspend all shipments to Russia Industrials United States
    Ferragamo suspend all shipments to Russia Consumer Discretionary Italy
    Ferrari suspend sales in Russia Consumer Discretionary Italy
    FIBA ban Russian teams and officials from participating in basketball events NGO Switzerland
    FIDE suspend Russian & Belarussian teams from participation in tournaments NGO Switzerland
    FIFA ban Russian athletes from competing Industrials Switzerland
    Finnlines suspend all traffic to Russia Industrials Finland
    Fitch suspend operations in Russia Financials United States
    Fiverr suspend business Consumer Discretionary Israel
    Ford suspend joint ventures in Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) suspend all trading certificates in Russia & Belarus and block all controlled wood sourcing from the two countries NGO Germany
    Fortinet suspend operations in Russia Information Technology United States
    Foster + Partners stop work on projects in Russia Industrials United Kingdom
    Fugro suspend all projects in Russia Industrials Netherlands
    Fujitsu cease orders and shipments to Russia Information Technology Japan
    Galp suspend Russian oil-product purchases; eliminate Russian exposure Energy Portugal
    Ganni freeze all trade with Russia Consumer Discretionary Denmark
    Geberit discontinue all operations in Russia but continue to pay employees Industrials Switzerland
    Gestamp stopped production Consumer Discretionary Spain
    GetYourGuide suspend all Russian operations Consumer Discretionary Switzerland
    GM suspend all shipments to Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Goodyear suspend shipments of tires to Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Grainpro suspend all operations in Russia Materials United States
    Grammarly block users located in Russia and Belarus from using products or services Information Technology United States
    Graphisoft suspended new activities, disabled access to our commercial services in Russia Information Technology Hungary
    Grundfos suspend all operations and sales in Russia Industrials Denmark
    Grupa Azoty stopped exporting its products to Russia or Belarus Materials Poland
    Grupo Antolín suspend operations in Russia Consumer Discretionary Spain
    Grupo Bimbo Suspended distribution of the Bimbo Brand at retail, but left Moscow Bimbo QSR plant operating for food service products Consumer Staples Mexico
    H&M suspend all shipments to Russia Consumer Discretionary Sweden
    Hannover Re halt underwriting business Financials Germany
    Hapag Lloyd suspend all shipments to Russia Industrials Germany
    HARIBO suspend production to Russia Consumer Staples Germany
    Harley-Davidson suspending all business in Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Hasbro pause toy shipments o Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Hermes suspend all operations in Russia Consumer Discretionary France
    Herzog & de Meuron suspend work on Russian projects Industrials Switzerland
    Hexagon freeze all business activities Information Technology Sweden
    HHLA suspend entry of Russian shipments at owned ports Financials Germany
    Hitachi Construction suspend all shipments to Russia Industrials Japan
    HMM suspend all shipments to Russia Industrials South Korea
    Honda suspend all shipments to Russia Consumer Discretionary Japan
    Honey Group suspend sales to Russia Consumer Staples Finland
    Honeywell suspend virtually all sales in Russia Industrials United States
    Hugo Boss temporarily close stores and e-commerce sites Consumer Discretionary Germany
    Hunkemoller suspend operations of on-site and online stores Consumer Discretionary Netherlands
    Husqvarna stop exports to Russia & halt investments Consumer Discretionary Sweden
    Hyundai suspend manufacturing in Russia Consumer Discretionary South Korea
    Iberia canceling flights to Russia Industrials Spain
    ICBC curtail Russian access to capital markets Financials China
    Icecat suspends activities for the Russian market Industrials Netherlands
    Illinois Tool Works suspension of sales to Russia Industrials United States
    Indeed suspend service in Russia Information Technology United States
    Inditex close Russian stores and suspend sales Consumer Discretionary Spain
    Infineon suspend exports Information Technology Germany
    Institute of Internal Auditors suspend business in Russia Industrials United States
    Intel suspend sales to Russia Information Technology United States
    Interactive Advertising Bureau suspend licensing in Russia and Belearus Industrials United States
    Intercomm Foods Stopping shipments to Russia Consumer Staples Greece
    International Canoe Federation suspend Russian athletes & relocate Russian events NGO Switzerland
    International Federation of Sport Climbing suspend Russian teams from participation; supend Russian events NGO Italy
    International Paralympic Committee bar Russian atheletes NGO Germany
    International Tennis Federation suspend Russian partnerships NGO United Kingdom
    Intertek suspend operations Industrials United States
    Intuit suspend customer accounts Information Technology United States
    Jablotron halts sales and blocks data services to products assempled in Russia Consumer Discretionary Czech Republic
    JCB suspend operations in Russia Financials Japan
    JCB pause business in Russia Industrials United Kingdom
    JD Sports suspend operations in Russia Consumer Discretionary United Kingdom
    Johnson Controls suspend operations in Russia Industrials Ireland
    Julipedra suspended exports to Russia Materials Portugal
    Jungheinrich keep Russia office; stop exports to Russia Industrials Germany
    Juniper Networks suspend sales in Russia Information Technology United States
    JYSK temporarily close Russian stores Consumer Discretionary Denmark
    Kärcher suspend exports to Russia & halt investments Consumer Discretionary Germany
    KBC Group suspend transactions with certain Russian banks Financials Belgium
    Kepenou Mills stop wheat orders from Russia Consumer Staples Greece
    Kering close all stores in Russia Consumer Discretionary France
    Kerry Group suspending operations Consumer Staples Ireland
    Kesko stop sales to Russia and imports from Russia Consumer Staples Finland
    KGHM suspended Russian contracts, subsidiary ZANAM Vostok in Russia Materials Poland
    Kingston suspend shipments to Russia Information Technology United States
    KLM cancel flights to and from Russia Industrials Netherlands
    Knight Frank suspend substantive operations in Russia Real Estate United Kingdom
    Kodak Alaris suspend all business activity into Russia & Belarus Information Technology United Kingdom
    Komatsu suspend all shipments to Russia Industrials Japan
    KONE suspend deliveries to Russia & stop new Russian orders Industrials Finland
    Konecranes stop all orders from Russia Industrials Finland
    Konica Minolta new shipments suspended Consumer Discretionary Japan
    Körber suspend new business with Russia Industrials Germany
    Korean Air Lines no flying over Russian airspace; Russian flights cancelled Industrials South Korea
    Korn Ferry suspend business in Russia Industrials United States
    Krombacher stopped exports to Russia Consumer Staples Germany
    KUKA suspend all business with Russia Industrials Germany
    Kurokesu suspend shippments to Russia Consumer Discretionary Lithuania
    Kyocera suspend deliveries of all devices to Russia Information Technology Japan
    L’Oreal suspend operations in Russia Consumer Discretionary France
    La Lorraine halt its 50mn euro investment in Moscow Consumer Staples Belgium
    Lanxess suspend business activities with Russia Materials Germany
    LCBO suspend Russian-produced products Consumer Staples Canada
    Lego suspend all shipments to Russia Consumer Discretionary Denmark
    Leica Camera AG suspend operations in Russia Information Technology Germany
    Leonardo pause all JVs in Russia; helicopter production Industrials Italy
    Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo suspend performance rights for his ballet Consumer Discretionary Monaco
    Levi Strauss suspend all sales in Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Lexmark suspend shipments to Russia Information Technology United States
    LG Electronics suspend all shipments to Russia Information Technology South Korea
    Lindt-Sprungli suspend operations in Russia Consumer Staples Switzerland
    Little Caesar’s suspend Russian franchise support Consumer Discretionary United States
    Live Nation Entertainment stop business with Russia Communication Services United States
    Lladró suspended service and shipment to Russia. No new requests Consumer Discretionary Spain
    Logitech suspend shipments to Russia Information Technology Switzerland
    Louis Dreyfus suspend operations in Russia Consumer Staples Netherlands
    Lumen cut networks to Russia Communication Services United States
    LUSH suspend online sales & supply to Russia Consumer Discretionary United Kingdom
    LVMH suspend all operations in Russia Consumer Discretionary France
    M&G phased divestment of Russian assets Financials United Kingdom
    Maersk suspend all shipments to Russia Industrials Denmark
    Magna suspend Russian plants Consumer Discretionary Canada
    Magna Steyr suspend deliveries to Russia Consumer Discretionary Austria
    MAN suspend delivery, supply of trucks, and sales to Russia Industrials Germany
    Mango suspend direct operations in Russia Consumer Discretionary Spain
    Mannheimer Swartling suspend all operations Industrials Sweden
    Manolo Blahnik suspend sales to Russia Consumer Discretionary United Kingdom
    Marks & Spencer suspend all shipments to Russia Consumer Staples United Kingdom
    Marriott suspend all Russian operations Consumer Discretionary United States
    Marvell suspend all sales to Russia in compliance with sanctions Information Technology United States
    Mastercard suspend operations in Russia Information Technology United States
    Mattel suspend shipments into Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Mazda suspend all shipments to Russia Consumer Discretionary Japan
    McCain Foods suspend operations in Russia Consumer Staples Canada
    McCormick suspend operations in Russia Consumer Staples United States
    Meggit cease all imports and exports with Russia Industrials United Kingdom
    Mercedes-Benz suspend all shipments to Russia Consumer Discretionary Germany
    Meta suspend Russian advertising Communication Services United States
    Metsa suspend operations at Russian mill Materials Finland
    Metso Outotec suspend all shipments to Russia Industrials Finland
    Mettler Toledo suspend all shipments to Russia Health Care United States
    Michelin suspended all operations in Russia Consumer Discretionary France
    Micron Suspend shipments to Russia according to sanctions Information Technology United States
    Milk Hydrosan sp. z o.o. suspended Russian contracts Industrials Poland
    Mitsubishi Electric stop all sales to Russia but reserve the right to return Industrials Japan
    Mitsubishi Motors suspended operations at Russian plant Consumer Discretionary Japan
    Mobatime (Elekon) stopped activity and remotly stopped clock on Russian Academy of Sciences Consumer Discretionary Czech Republic
    Moncler suspend operations in Russia Consumer Discretionary Italy
    MongoDB suspend sales to Russia and Belarus Information Technology United States
    Mothercare suspend operations in Russia Consumer Discretionary United Kingdom
    Motorola Solutions suspend service orders to Russia Information Technology United States
    MS & AD Insurance Group suspending operations Financials Japan
    MSC temporary suspension of all shipments to Russia Financials United States
    MSC Cruises suspend calls to Russia Consumer Discretionary Switzerland
    Munich Re not renew current contracts & suspend new business Financials Germany
    MV Group suspends all imports and orders, froze partner brands Consumer Staples Lithuania
    MVRDV suspend operations in Russia Industrials Netherlands
    Namecheap stop offering products to Russia Information Technology United States
    Naspers In process of separating from Avito and fully exit Russia Consumer Discretionary South Africa
    NCR suspend sales to Russia Information Technology United States
    NEC suspend all future sales Information Technology Japan
    Nemak halt production in Russia Consumer Discretionary Mexico
    Neste Oyj suspend purchases of Russian oil Energy Finland
    NetApp suspend business operations in Russia Information Technology United States
    New Balance suspend shipments to Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    New Development Bank curtail Russian access to capital markets Financials China
    NHL pause all partnerships in Russia NGO United States
    Niantic Labs products made unavailable in Russia Information Technology United States
    Nikon suspend shipments to Russia Consumer Discretionary Japan
    Nintendo suspend all sales in Russia Communication Services Japan
    Nissan suspend all shipments to Russia Consumer Discretionary Japan
    Norton suspend sales to Russia Information Technology United States
    Nozbe cut off services for Russia and Belarus Industrials Poland
    NSG Group (Pilkington) suspension all trading and investment Materials Japan
    Nu Skin suspend Russian operations Consumer Staples United States
    Nutanix pause all sales and support to Russia Information Technology United States
    Nvidia suspend all sales in Russia Information Technology United States
    NXP Semiconductors suspend all shipments to and business with Russia Information Technology Netherlands
    Olvi stop exports to Russia Consumer Staples Finland
    Olympus suspend sales of Scientific Solutions portfolio and all capital investments Information Technology Japan
    ON24 suspend all Russian activities Information Technology United States
    OP Bank Lithuania temporarily stop the processing of all payments from and to Russia & Belarus Financials Lithuania
    OpenText suspend all business Information Technology Canada
    Oracle suspend all operations in Russia Information Technology United States
    Outokumpu stop sales and deliveries to Russia Materials Finland
    PagerDuty suspend cooperation with Russian customers Information Technology United States
    Panasonic suspend operations in Russia Consumer Discretionary Japan
    Pandora suspend all business with Russia and Belarus Consumer Discretionary Denmark
    Papa John’s suspend support for all Russian franchises Consumer Discretionary United States
    Par Pacific suspend purchases of Russian crude oil Energy United States
    Paramount pause new content releases to Russia Communication Services United States
    Payoneer close Russian accounts Information Technology United States
    Paypal suspend operations in Russia Information Technology United States
    Peak Design shut down sales to Russia Consumer Staples United States
    Pekao SA transactions in Russian ruble suspended Financials Poland
    Pernod Ricard pause exports to Russia Consumer Staples France
    Pivovary Staropramen suspended beer exports Consumer Staples Czech Republic
    Playmobil stop all sales to Russia Consumer Discretionary Germany
    Plzeňský Prazdroj suspend sales to Russia Consumer Staples Czech Republic
    Podravka stop deliveries to Russia Consumer Staples Croatia
    Polaris suspend exports to Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Porsche end shipments of new cars; dealerships running and warranty obligations honored Consumer Discretionary Germany
    Prada suspend operations in Russia Consumer Discretionary Italy
    Preem AB suspend purchases of Russian oil Energy Sweden
    Prosus In process of divesting from local subsidiary Industrials Netherlands
    PTC discontinue all business operations and sales Information Technology United States
    Puma suspend all shipments to Russia Consumer Discretionary Germany
    PVH suspend operations in Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Qlik suspend sales and services to Russia Information Technology Sweden
    QS cease activity with Russian customers & cease promotion of Russian universities NGO United Kingdom
    Qualcomm suspend shipments to Russia Information Technology United States
    Rabobank curtail Russian access to capital markets Financials Netherlands
    Radio Free Europe suspend operations in Russia Communication Services Czech Republic
    Rakovnický Pivovar stopped exports and withdrew some products for sale in Russia Consumer Staples Czech Republic
    Ralph Lauren pause operations in Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Raytheon suspend operations in Russia Industrials United States
    Reface.ai suspend all new downloads and updates of app in Russia Information Technology Ukraine
    Reima suspend all sales into Russia Consumer Discretionary Finland
    Reliance intention to avoid Russian fuel Energy India
    Remitly Global stop accepting new users in Russia Information Technology United States
    Revolut stop top-ups for Russian cards and block transfers to Russian institutions Financials United Kingdom
    Richemont suspend all operations in Russia Consumer Discretionary Switzerland
    Ricoh suspend shipments to Russia Information Technology Japan
    Roca closure of plants Consumer Discretionary Spain
    Rockwell Automation suspend operations in Russia Industrials United States
    Roland DG suspend all exports and sales to Russia Information Technology Japan
    Rolex suspend exports to Russia Consumer Discretionary Switzerland
    Rolls Royce suspend all shipments to Russia Industrials United Kingdom
    Rovio remove games from app stores in Russia Information Technology Finland
    Royal Caribbean Cruises cancel summer cruise ship visits to Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Royal Society of Chemistry pause activities with Russian institutions NGO United Kingdom
    Safran stop all activities in Russia Industrials France
    Samsonite International suspend operations in Russia Consumer Discretionary Luxembourg
    Samsung suspend all shipments to Russia Information Technology South Korea
    Sandvik suspend all operations in Russia Industrials Sweden
    Sardina suspend deliveries to Russia Consumer Staples Croatia
    Scandinavian Tobacco suspend most operations in Russia Consumer Staples Denmark
    Scania suspend all sales in Russia Industrials Sweden
    Schwarz Group stop sales of Russian products in stores Consumer Staples Germany
    Sennheiser suspend all business & stop exports Information Technology Germany
    Sharp Group suspend shipping into Russia Information Technology Japan
    Shiseido suspend export shipments to Russia Consumer Staples Japan
    Simba Dickie Group suspend all business in Russia including with local independent distributor Consumer Discretionary Germany
    Skoda halted production and stopped exports Consumer Discretionary Czech Republic
    Skytrax suspend all audit and rating analysis NGO United Kingdom
    Smartway Pharmaceuticals suspended all operations, most supplies, and all advertising Health Care United Kingdom
    Sodeca cut off all supplies to Russian partners Industrials Spain
    Solvay suspend operations in Russia Materials Belgium
    SonoSim suspend distributor relationship in Russia Health Care United States
    Sony pause release of new films in Russia, suspending console and game sales in Russia Consumer Discretionary Japan
    Sportradar suspend all new investments in Russia, including signing new customers Consumer Discretionary Switzerland
    SriLankan Airlines suspend flights between Sri Lanka and Russia Industrials Sri Lanka
    SSAB shipments and sales to Russia discontinued Materials Sweden
    Stellantis suspend operations in Russia Consumer Discretionary Netherlands
    STIHL suspend deliveries to Russia Consumer Discretionary Germany
    Storytel pause operations in Russia Communication Services Sweden
    Subaru suspend all shipments to Russia Consumer Discretionary Japan
    Sumitomo Group scaling back or suspending all Russian-related business Financials Japan
    Supercell remove games from app stores in Russia Information Technology Finland
    Swarovski suspend all sales in Russia Consumer Discretionary Liechtenstein
    Swatch suspend direct operations in Russia Consumer Discretionary Switzerland
    Sweco stop all projects in Russia Industrials Sweden
    Sylvamo suspend operations in Russia Materials United States
    Systemair suspend all sales to Russia Industrials Sweden
    T Machinery Stopped cooperation Industrials Czech Republic
    Tadano suspension of shipments into Russia Industrials Japan
    Take-Two Interactive halt sales, marketing and more in Russia Communication Services United States
    Tanin goods are stopped Materials Slovenia
    Tata Motors paused sales of Jaguar Land Rover in Russia Consumer Discretionary India
    Tendam suspend activity in Russia Consumer Discretionary Spain
    The Navigator Company suspend all marketing in Russia Materials Portugal
    Thermo Fisher suspend sales and manufacturing in Russia Health Care United States
    TikTok suspend operations in Russia Communication Services United States
    Timken suspend operations in Russia Industrials United States
    Torm effectively suspend shipments to Russia Industrials Denmark
    Tous close shops and online store in Russia Consumer Discretionary Spain
    Trane Technologies suspend shipments to Russia Industrials Ireland
    Trelleborg Group suspended deliveries and sales to Russia Industrials Sweden
    Trimble suspend all sales in Russia Information Technology United States
    Triumph suspend Russian business Consumer Discretionary Switzerland
    TSMC suspend all shipments to Russia Information Technology Taiwan
    TTC Holding suspended activities Real Estate Czech Republic
    Twin Disc suspend all shipments to Russia Industrials United States
    Twitter suspend certain operations in Russia Communication Services United States
    Ubisoft suspend new sales to Russia Information Technology France
    UiPath suspend sales in Russia Information Technology United States
    UL stop all work in Russia & Belarus and not take on or pursue any new customer orders Industrials United States
    Under Armour suspend all shipments to Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Uniqlo/Fast Retailing suspend operations in Russia Consumer Discretionary Japan
    United Airlines no flying over Russian airspace Industrials United States
    UPM temporarily suspend operations and sales in Russia Materials Finland
    UPS suspend all shipments to Russia Industrials United States
    Upwork suspend operations in Russia Industrials United States
    Valero Energy suspend purchases of Russian oil Energy United States
    Veeam pause sales in Russia Information Technology United States
    VF Corporation temporarily suspend commercial activities Consumer Discretionary United States
    Victoria’s Secret stop exports to Russia, pause sales in Russia by franchisers, suspend online sales Consumer Discretionary United States
    Viessmann stop business with Russia & stop deliveries to and from Russia Industrials Germany
    Vietnam Airlines suspend flights to Russia Industrials Vietnam
    Viking River Cruises cease all operations in Russia & cancel trips to Russia up to 2024 Consumer Discretionary Switzerland
    Visa suspend operations in Russia Information Technology United States
    Vitec Group suspend all exports and services Consumer Discretionary United Kingdom
    Viva suspend purchases of Russian oil Energy Australia
    VMWare suspend operations in Russia Information Technology United States
    Volkswagen suspend all shipments to Russia Consumer Discretionary Germany
    Volvo Cars suspend all shipments to Russia Industrials Sweden
    Volvo Group suspend all sales, service and production Industrials Sweden
    WarnerMedia pause new content releases Communication Services United States
    Waters Corporation suspend all sales and services into Russia Health Care United States
    WEKA suspend business and concrete deals with Russia Information Technology Israel
    Western Union suspend operations in Russia Information Technology United States
    WeTransfer suspend all services in Russia Information Technology United States
    Wielton suspended Russian exports Industrials Poland
    William Grant & Sons suspend all shipments to Russia Consumer Staples United Kingdom
    Wimbledon ban Russian athletes NGO United Kingdom
    Wise PLC suspend Russian partnerships Information Technology United Kingdom
    Wizz Air Air flights to/from Russia are temporarily suspended Industrials Hungary
    World Boxing Council suspend Russia from title fights NGO Mexico
    World Federation of Exchanges suspend all Russian members and affiliates NGO United Kingdom
    Woseba suspends deliveries to Russia Consumer Staples Poland
    Wrangler (Kontoor) suspend online sales Consumer Discretionary United States
    Würth stop exports to Russia Consumer Discretionary Germany
    WWE suspend all operations in Russia Communication Services United States
    Xerox suspend shipments to Russia Information Technology United States
    Yara suspend all imports from Russia Materials Norway
    YKK Group suspend operations in Russia Industrials Japan
    YOOX suspend commercial activities Consumer Discretionary Italy
    Żabka halts orders from Russia & Belarus Consumer Staples Poland
    Zegna Group suspended all shipments to and production for Russia partners Consumer Discretionary Italy
    Zendesk suspend all sales to Russia Information Technology United States
    Zetor suspend all cooperation with Russia Industrials Czech Republic
    ZHA suspend operations in Russia Industrials United Kingdom
    Zynga suspend all installations, monetization and marketing support Communication Services United States


    Clean Break – Surgical Removal, Resection (305 Companies) (Grade: A)

    Companies totally halting Russian engagements or completely exiting Russia…

    Name Action Industry Country
    AB InBev sold stake in joint ventures and suspend using its license in Russia Consumer Staples Belgium
    Accenture exiting Russia completely Information Technology Ireland
    Accountor withdrawal from Russia Information Technology Finland
    Acronis suspend operations in Russia Information Technology Switzerland
    Adenza discontinue all operations in Russia Information Technology United Kingdom
    AECOM exit Russia operations Industrials United States
    AerCap cease leasing activity with Russian airlines Industrials Ireland
    AG Barr cut ties with Russian market Consumer Staples United Kingdom
    Air Products full divestiture from Russia Materials United States
    AirBaltic leave Russian market until further notice Industrials Latvia
    Akvelon close offices in Moscow Information Technology United States
    Alcoa cease buying raw materials from, or selling our products to, Russian businesses Materials United States
    Aldi remove products from Russia Consumer Staples Germany
    Allegro bans Russian & Belarussian products Consumer Discretionary Poland
    Allen & Overy wind down Russian operations Industrials United Kingdom
    Ametek closing TPM Russia subsidiary due to war in Ukraine Industrials United States
    Amsted Rail exit Russia completely Industrials United States
    AP7 sell off all of Russian shares Financials Sweden
    APG sell all Russian investment Financials Netherlands
    ArcelorMittal removed all Russian materials from supply chain Materials Luxembourg
    Arendt & Medernach pull out of Russia; close Russian office and suspend select Russian client engagements Industrials Luxembourg
    Asda remove products from Russia Consumer Staples United Kingdom
    Assicurazioni Generali exit Russia completely Financials Italy
    Atos exit from Russia Information Technology France
    Atria exit business in Russia Consumer Staples Finland
    Avery Dennison exit Russian operations Materials United States
    Avid cease all sales and support to all customers, users and resellers in Russia & Belarus Information Technology United States
    Baker Botts wind down Moscow office Industrials United States
    Baker McKenzie cease operations in Russia and transfer them to an independent entity Industrials United States
    Baker Tilly gradual wind down of operations in Russia Industrials United Kingdom
    Bakoma withdraw from Russia completely prior to aggression Consumer Staples Poland
    Ball Corporation leave Russia completely Materials United States
    BASF SE wind down Russian operations Materials Germany
    BBDO exit Russian operations Industrials United States
    Bestseller stop all sales to Russia through distributors Consumer Discretionary Denmark
    BlackRock curtail Russian access to capital markets Financials United States
    Bonava close operations in Russia Real Estate Sweden
    Bose stop all product shipments Information Technology United States
    Boskalis exit Russian Arctic LNG 2 project Industrials Netherlands
    BP divest from 20% Rosneft stake Energy United Kingdom
    British American Tobacco exit Russian operations Consumer Staples United Kingdom
    British Standards Institution (BSI) terminate all contractual relations & discontinue services in Russia Industrials United Kingdom
    Bryan Cave exit Russian operations; local partners and counsel form new firms Industrials United States
    Bumble remove apps from app stores Communication Services United States
    Canva withdraw from Russia Information Technology Australia
    Carlsberg exit Russia completely Consumer Staples Denmark
    Carnival discontinue Russia itineraries Consumer Discretionary United States
    Centrica exit gas supply partnership with Gazprom Utilities United Kingdom
    Ceratizit stop all deliveries to Russia and Belarus Industrials Luxembourg
    Cersanit put up its Russian business for sale Consumer Discretionary Poland
    Chapman Freeborn wind down Russian business Industrials United Kingdom
    Ciech suspended Russian exports Materials Poland
    Cisco orderly wind down Russian operations Information Technology United States
    Clarivate exit Russian operations Industrials United Kingdom
    Clifford Chance wind down operations in Moscow; local partners and counsels form own firm Industrials United Kingdom
    CMS transfer Russian practice to local partners and counsel Industrials Germany
    Colliers discontinue business in Russia Real Estate Canada
    Comarch halts orders from Russia & Belarus Information Technology Poland
    Compass Group permanently exit Russian market Consumer Staples United Kingdom
    Coop fully divest Russian operations Transgourmet via management buyout Financials Switzerland
    Coty wind down Russian business Consumer Staples United States
    CRH withdrawal from Russia Materials Ireland
    Cummins exit Russian operations Industrials United States
    Currency.com halting operations for residents of Russian Financials United Kingdom
    Cushman & Wakefield close office in Russia; transfer to local partner Real Estate United States
    Cyfrowy Polsat removing Russian TV channels from the offer Communication Services Poland
    Danfoss exit Russia completely Industrials Denmark
    DDB exit Russian operations Materials United States
    Dechert close Russian office Industrials United States
    Deezer discontinue services in Russia Communication Services France
    Deichmann withdraw from Russia Consumer Discretionary Germany
    Deloitte leaving Russia completely; local office launched own firm Industrials United States
    Delta Air Lines withdraw codeshare services with Aeroflot Industrials United States
    Dentons exit Russian operations Industrials Switzerland
    Dentsu International divest joint venture/leave Russia Communication Services United Kingdom
    Deutsche Bank wind down business in Russia Financials Germany
    Deutsche Telekom close Russian business Communication Services Germany
    Dino Polska removed Russian products Consumer Staples Poland
    DLA Piper withdrawing from Russia Industrials United States
    DPD withdrawal from the Russian market Industrials Germany
    Dr. Oetker stops sales and production in Russia; transferred ownership of production facilities Consumer Staples Germany
    DXC Technology leaving Russia completely Information Technology United States
    EarthDaily Analytics terminate operations in Russia Industrials United States
    Edeka remove Russian food from store shelves Consumer Staples Germany
    edX (2U) withdraw from all Russian partnerships Information Technology United States
    Electronic Arts make new game purchases unavailable in Russia Communication Services United States
    Elisa Esports ban Russian teams from participating in tournaments NGO Finland
    ELKO Group leave Russia Information Technology Latvia
    Emerson Electric exit Russian business Industrials United States
    Enel divest from the entire Russian stakes Utilities Italy
    ENEOS discontinue purchases of Russian crude Energy Japan
    EPAM discontinue servicing Russian customers Information Technology United States
    Equinor exit joint ventures in Russia Energy Norway
    ESAB transition out of operations in Russia Industrials Sweden
    Etsy deactivate all listings from Russian sellers Consumer Discretionary United States
    Eurovision ban on all Russian competition NGO United Kingdom
    Eversheds Sutherland close Russia office; transfer Russia practice to local partners and counsels Industrials United Kingdom
    Evonik withdraw from Russia Materials Germany
    Expedia suspend bookings in Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Exxon exit Rosneft partnership Energy United States
    EY leaving Russia completely Industrials United States
    FANUC totally suspend all shipments, services and maintenance in Russia Industrials Japan
    Fazer exit Russia Consumer Staples Finland
    Fennovoima terminate Russian nuclear power plant project Energy Finland
    FICO exiting all work in Russia Information Technology United States
    Fiskars withdraw completely from the Russian market Consumer Discretionary Finland
    Flowserve exit Russia completely Industrials United States
    FMC Corporation discontinue all business and operations Materials United States
    Fonterra exit its businesses in Russia Consumer Staples New Zealand
    Formula One terminat contract with the Russian Grand Prix promoter Communication Services United Kingdom
    Fortum exit Russian market Utilities Finland
    Freshfields closing business in Russia Industrials United Kingdom
    G2A block marketplace for Russian users Communication Services Netherlands
    Gameloft make company’s games unavailable in Russia Information Technology France
    Gaz-System stopped gas imports Utilities Poland
    Global Foundries suspend all shipments to Russia Information Technology United States
    GoDaddy discontinue all Russian services Information Technology United States
    Gowling leave Russia Industrials Canada
    Grant Thornton closing business in Russia Industrials United States
    Grohe cease all activities with Russia Consumer Discretionary Germany
    Haniel unwind all Russian business Materials Germany
    Hays plc close Russian business Industrials United Kingdom
    Hearst Communications terminate the licensing agreements & turn over its equity to Russian subsidiary Communication Services United States
    Heidrick & Struggles ceased all operations in Russia Industrials United States
    Heineken exit Russia completely Consumer Staples Netherlands
    Hempel exit Russia Industrials Denmark
    Henkel exit business activities in Russia Consumer Staples Germany
    Herbert Smith Freehills end operations in Russia; local partners and counsels open independent firm Industrials Australia
    Hesburger withdraw from Russia Consumer Discretionary Finland
    Hogan Lovells exit Russian operations Industrials United Kingdom
    Holcim exit Russian market completely Materials Switzerland
    Houthoff terminate all relationships with Russia Industrials Netherlands
    HP Enterprise (Independent from HP Inc.) exit Russia & Belarus Information Technology United States
    HP Inc. shut down business in Russia Information Technology United States
    Huhtamaki divest Russian operations Materials Finland
    IBM wind down business in Russia Information Technology United States
    IDEXX Labs wind down operations & liquidate subsidiary Health Care United States
    Ikea fold up Russian presence Consumer Discretionary Sweden
    IMCD withdraw from Russia completely Industrials Netherlands
    Imperial Brands transfer Russian business to local partners Consumer Staples United Kingdom
    Incoff Aerospace no longer trade with the Russians Industrials Slovakia
    Infosys shutting down operations in Russia Information Technology India
    InPost stop purchasing services/goods from Russian & Belorussian companies Industrials Poland
    Intercontinental Exchange curtail Russian access to capital markets Financials United States
    International Boxing Federation ban on all Russian competition NGO France
    International Cat Federation ban Russian cats from competitions NGO Canada
    International Cycling Union ban on all Russian competition NGO United States
    International Ice Hockey Federation ban on all Russian competition NGO Switzerland
    International Olympic Committee ban Russian athletes from competing NGO Switzerland
    International Skating Union ban on all Russian competition NGO Switzerland
    International Weightlifting Federation ban on all Russian competition NGO Switzerland
    Interpublic Group exit Russian operations Communication Services United States
    ISS ISS divested its Russian activities during March and is no longer active in Russia Industrials Denmark
    J Sainsbury remove products from Russia Consumer Staples United Kingdom
    Jabil closed its site in Russia Information Technology United States
    Jamie Oliver exit franchise agreement Consumer Staples United Kingdom
    Jan de Nul close rep office and withdraw ships Industrials Luxembourg
    JetBrains suspend all activity indefinitely Information Technology Czech Republic
    JLL separate operations in Russia Real Estate United States
    John Wood Group withdraw from Russia Industrials United Kingdom
    Kalnapilis-Taurus termination of export ties and production in Russian Market Consumer Staples Lithuania
    Kelly leave Russia & transition operations Industrials United States
    Kemira exit Russia completely Consumer Discretionary Finland
    Kiilto seeking exit from Russian business Materials Finland
    Kingspan exit Russia Industrials Ireland
    Kinross Gold complete exit from Russia by selling Russian operations Materials Canada
    KLP exit all investment holdings in Russia Financials Norway
    Knorr-Bremse will not deliver any more products or systems for Russian locomotives; end JVs Industrials Germany
    Kofax curtail all sales of software and close sites in Russia Information Technology United States
    KPMG leaving Russia completely Industrials United States
    Krispy Kreme winding down business in Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    L’Occitane exit Russian operations Consumer Discretionary France
    Lamb Weston exit Russian market Consumer Staples United States
    Latham & Watkins wind down Russian presence Industrials United States
    Lincoln Electric ceased all operations Industrials United States
    Linklaters end operations in Russia, with entities connected to the Russian state; local partners and counsel form own firm Industrials United Kingdom
    Lloyd’s Register withdraw services to Russia Industrials United Kingdom
    London Stock Exchange Group curtail Russian access to capital markets Financials United Kingdom
    LPP Group left Russia Consumer Discretionary Poland
    Lufthansa suspended flights and ended Russian aircraft maintenance Industrials Germany
    Luxoft exit Russian market Information Technology Switzerland
    Marsh McLennan exit operations in Russia Financials United States
    McDonald’s leave the Russian market & sell Russian business Consumer Discretionary United States
    McKinsey exit Russian market completely Industrials United States
    MessageBird shut down API access, block SMS and voice traffic to Russian carriers Information Technology Netherlands
    Mondi sell Russian assets Materials United Kingdom
    Monroe Energy stop imports of Russian crude oil Energy United States
    Moog Inc. exit Russian operations Industrials United States
    Morgan Advanced Materials cease all trading with Russia. Industrials United Kingdom
    Morgan Lewis close Russian offices Industrials United States
    Morrisons remove products from Russia Consumer Staples United Kingdom
    MSCI curtail Russian access to capital markets Financials United States
    Nasdaq curtail Russian access to capital markets Financials United States
    NCAB Group AB sold assets and ceased operations in Russia Industrials Sweden
    Netflix suspend service in Russia Communication Services United States
    Netscout pause all sales, support, and services in Russia Information Technology United States
    Nike exit Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    Nokia pulling out of Russia completely Information Technology Finland
    Norton Rose Fulbright exit from Russia Industrials United Kingdom
    Norwegian Cruise Lines discontinue Russian itineraries Consumer Discretionary United States
    NTT Data exit Russia Information Technology Japan
    OBI exit Russian market completely Consumer Discretionary Germany
    Oceania Cruises discontinue Russian itineraries Consumer Discretionary United States
    Oerlikon sell Russian operations Materials Switzerland
    Omnicom Media Group exit Russian operations Communication Services United States
    OneWeb suspend use of Russian airspace Communication Services United States
    Orkla exit Russian operations Consumer Staples Norway
    Orlen Lietuva stopped Russian oil imports Energy Poland
    Owens Corning expedite exit from Russia Industrials United States
    Parker Hannifin closed our office and warehouse facility in Moscow and no longer do business in this country Industrials United States
    Paulig withdraw from Russia Consumer Staples Finland
    Pensioenfonds Detailhandel sell off all Russian investments Financials Netherlands
    Pentair exiting its business in Russia Industrials United States
    PFZW divest from all Russian assets Financials Netherlands
    PGL Esports exclusion of esports teams and individuals with connections to the Russian government from upcoming competition Communication Services United States
    PKO BP suspends transactions with Russian banks transactions in Russian ruble suspended Financials Poland
    PME pensioenfonds sell off all Russian investments Financials Netherlands
    Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo SA stopped gaz imports Energy Poland
    Ponsse PLC divest Russian operations Industrials Finland
    Prio ceased purchase of any products from Russian or directly related companies Energy Portugal
    Publicis Groupe cede ownership to local affiliates Communication Services France
    PwC leaving Russia completely Industrials United States
    PZU SA reduced position in Russian bonds to zero Financials Poland
    Qantas Airlines no longer flies over Russian territory Industrials Australia
    R&A ban on all Russian competition Industrials United States
    Reckitt Benckiser Group begins a process aimed at transferring ownership of its Russia business Consumer Staples United Kingdom
    Red Hat discontinue sales and services in Russia & terminate partnerships Information Technology United States
    Regent Seven Seas Cruises discontinue Russian itineraries Consumer Discretionary United States
    Renault sell Renault Russia; transfer Moscow factory to city government and partner for local brand production Consumer Discretionary France
    Rewe remove products from Russia from shelves Consumer Discretionary Germany
    Rimi remove products from Russia from shelves Consumer Discretionary Latvia
    Rio Tinto terminate all commercial relationships with Russia Materials Australia
    Rocket Lawyer suspend Russian and Belarusian access to the platform Information Technology United States
    Roku remove Kremlin-linked propaganda and ads Communication Services United States
    Roland Berger end any activity for Russia Industrials Germany
    S Group (Suomen Osuuskauppojen Keskuskunta) close all operations Consumer Staples Finland
    S&P 500 [S&P Dow Jones Indices] curtail Russian access to capital markets Financials United States
    Salesforce exit business relationships in Russia Industrials United States
    Savills end partnerships in Russia Real Estate United Kingdom
    Schneider Electric sell Russian assets to local management and exit completely Industrials France
    Shell total withdrawal from virtually all Russia-related businesses Energy United Kingdom
    Sidley Austin end all Russian relationships Industrials United States
    Siemens exit Russian market Industrials Germany
    SKF end sales and production in Russia Industrials Sweden
    Slack exit Russian market completely Information Technology United States
    SMAY end cooperation with Russia Industrials Poland
    Smurfit Kappa exit Russian market Materials Ireland
    Societe Generale cessation of all activities in Russia Financials France
    Sodexo ceded control of its operations in Russia Industrials France
    Sonos ceased all sales to this market at the onset of the war and blocked Russian state radio Consumer Discretionary United States
    Squire Patton Boggs leave Russia Industrials United States
    Stanley Black & Decker shut down Russian business Industrials United States
    Starbucks exit and no longer have a brand presence in Russia Consumer Discretionary United States
    State Street curtail Russian access to capital markets Financials United States
    Stora Enso divest packaging plants Materials Finland
    Storebrand divest all Russian holdings Financials Norway
    Strabag winding down operations in Russia; terminating shareholder syndicate agreements with Deripaska Industrials Austria
    Sulzer exit Russian market Industrials Switzerland
    Svenska Handelsbanken divest from all Russian investments Financials Sweden
    Systembolaget remove all Russian alcohol from stores Consumer Discretionary Sweden
    Tata Steel replaced all Russian raw materials for operations; no presence in Russia Materials India
    TeamViewer withdraw from Russia/Belarus Information Technology Germany
    Teknotherm Marine HVAC sp. z o.o. complete withdrawal from Russia Industrials Poland
    Teradata stopped all business in Russia and ceased customer interactions and services with all Russian accounts. Information Technology United States
    Tietoevry conclude total exit from Russia Information Technology Finland
    TJ Maxx divest Familia subsidiary Consumer Discretionary United States
    TripAdvisor remove Kremlin-linked propaganda and ads Communication Services United States
    TUI end brand-sharing agreement; had already exited Consumer Discretionary Germany
    Tunnock’s discontinue supplies to Russia Consumer Staples United Kingdom
    Uber divest from partnership with Yandex Information Technology United States
    UEFA ban Russian athletes from competing NGO Switzerland
    Umbro withdrawal from the Russian market Consumer Discretionary United Kingdom
    United Internet Group suspend all Russian contracts Information Technology Germany
    Universal closing operations in Russia Communication Services United States
    Valio sell business and Viola brand to Velcom Consumer Staples Finland
    Valmet exit from Russia Industrials Finland
    Vanguard suspend operations in Russia Financials United States
    Velux permanently close operations in Russia and Belarus Consumer Discretionary Denmark
    Vianor terminate contract with Russian subsidiary Consumer Discretionary Finland
    Vičiūnai selling Russian operations and exiting Russia Consumer Staples Lithuania
    Vinmonopolet stop sales of all Russian wine, spirits and strong beers in Norway Consumer Staples Norway
    Vitol stop buying Russian oil by the end of 2022 Energy Switzerland
    Vodafone suspend partner agreement with MTS Information Technology United Kingdom
    Volaris Group discontinue sales and support to Russia Information Technology Canada
    Volfas Engelman suspend investment and withdraw from Russian market Consumer Staples Lithuania
    Waitrose remove products from Russia Consumer Staples United Kingdom
    Walker’s Shortbread cancel all future orders to Russia Consumer Staples United Kingdom
    Wargaming close operations; transfer of some business Consumer Discretionary Belarus
    Wear Medicine terminate cooperation with Russian partners Consumer Discretionary Poland
    Weir Group wind down Russian business in 2022 Industrials United Kingdom
    WePlay terminate all Russian operations Consumer Discretionary United States
    WeWork planning divestment of Russian operations Real Estate United States
    Wex Inc. ending relationship with Lukoil and subsidiaries Information Technology United States
    White & Case wind down Russian operations Industrials United States
    Willis Towers Watson fully exit Russia and transfer ownership to local management Financials United Kingdom
    Winston & Strawn close Russian office Industrials United States
    Women’s Tennis Association suspend Russian partnerships NGO United States
    World Athletics Council ban on all Russian competition NGO United States
    World Boxing Association ban on all Russian competition NGO Panama
    World Boxing Organization ban on all Russian competition NGO United States
    World Rowing Federation ban on all Russian competition NGO United States
    World Rugby Union ban on all Russian competition NGO Ireland
    WPP PLC leave Russia Communication Services United Kingdom
    YIT exits Russia projects Industrials Finland
    Zurich Insurance Group sell Russian business to local team and exit market Financials Switzerland


    Find this story at 3o June 2022

    Those who stay: how companies justify their stay in russia

    After the start of the full-scale attack of Russia on Ukraine, with tens of thousands killed and multiple war crimes documented, many companies (often under the pressure of their customers and shareholders) have left Russia. Others stayed, continuing to provide goods and services — to Russians and taxes — to the Russian government.

    Figure 1 shows that the healthcare industry has the highest share of companies that continue business as usual or have slightly modified it (usually this implies halting advertising, new investment and new clinical trials), followed by energy, consumer staples and utilities. While the EU has introduced a partial energy embargo (which will probably force some energy companies to leave), the situation with healthcare companies and those producing consumer staples is more complicated. Theoretically these companies can justify their stay in russia by humanism, i.e. providing necessary food or medicine to russian consumers. But how many of them actually do this and are their arguments valid?

    To answer this question, we looked at companies operating in healthcare and consumer staples that belong to groups D and F (i.e. the companies that remain in russia) by Yale classification (figure 1) and added to them companies identified by Balyuk and Fedyk (2022) that belong to the same industries and decided to stay in Russia. In total, 111 companies were identified (this list is probably not exhaustive but we believe it contains the majority of companies).

    The distribution of these companies by industry and country is presented in the following table.

    Table 1. Country distribution of companies from consumer staples and healthcare industries that stay in Russia 

    country Consumer Staples Health Care
    Austria 3
    China 1 2
    France 6 3
    Germany 8 3
    Greece 2 1
    Hungary 1 2
    Iceland 1
    India 2
    Israel 1
    Italy 3 1
    Japan 2
    Latvia 1
    Mexico 1
    Netherlands 1 1
    Poland 1 1
    Portugal 1
    Singapore 1
    Slovenia 1
    Spain 3
    Switzerland 3 3
    Thailand 1
    United Kingdom 1 3
    United States 13 33
    Total 55 56

    Of these companies, 43 did not make any statement on the Russia-Ukraine war. 22 wrote only about their actions (most often complying with sanctions, stopping advertising and making new investment in Russia, and providing humanitarian support for Ukraine). 42 companies (35%) provided a justification for their stay in Russia based on humanitarian reasons. 

    Their excuses were:

    1. providing basic food or hygiene products to Russian consumers
    2. providing essential medicine and/or conducting clinical trials that are important for the humanity
    3. providing jobs (arguing that Russian people are not responsible for actions of their government)

    Some companies provided a combination of these explanations, e.g. Auchan:

    Our job is to do everything we can to ensure that the inhabitants of our countries of operation have access to good quality food at an affordable price and thus meet the essential food needs of the civilian population. Our 30,000 Russian employees are doing the same job to be as close as possible to a population that has no personal responsibility in the outbreak of this war. Abandoning our employees, their families and our customers is not the choice we have made. As French President Emmanuel Macron has said, “we are not at war with the Russian people”.  Closing our activities in Russia would be considered as a premeditated bankruptcy leading to an expropriation that would strengthen the Russian economic and financial ecosystem, would put our employees and their families in great precarity and would deprive, in a period of high inflation, the population of the services of a discounter distributor, which has been operating in the country for 20 years. Source: Auchan statement

    In this statement we see one additional explanation – that “closing our activities in Russia would be considered as a premeditated bankruptcy leading to an expropriation that would strengthen the Russian economic and financial ecosystem”.

    Let’s consider these explanations in more detail. Specifically, I will argue that none of them is substantiated by data or logic. This suggests that the decision for the majority of companies to continue operating in russia must be driven by their own financial considerations, rather than anything else.

    First, 70-80% of Russians support Putin and believe that Russia is going in the right direction. Thus, most Russians are not suffering under Putin’s regime, they are highly supportive of it. Moreover, they are supporting the war. They are supporting killing of Ukrainians and raping of Ukrainian women and children (the Security Service of Ukraine published a large collection of recordings of Russian occupants talking between themselves or with their relatives. These recordings very well illustrate that they don’t consider Ukrainians as humans). Thus, no targeted sanctions against Putin himself or his minions will change the course of war. Heavy sectoral sanctions affecting all the Russian citizens should be applied. Ukraine is bearing an enormous cost of the war – tens of thousands of lives, between a third and a half of its economy, thousands of houses, roads and other infrastructural objects have been and are being destroyed. Moreover, at least 3000 Ukrainians died (according to WHO) because they were unable to receive medicines for their chronic diseases or immune diseases such as cancer because the supply chains are broken. On top of that, Russia constantly bombs hospitals and maternity homes.

    Other countries are bearing a huge cost as well – supporting Ukrainian refugees, providing weapons, humanitarian and financial aid. David Nabarro from WHO said at the Davos forum that 94 countries are at risk of severe hunger or famine because of the Russian attack on Ukraine. Thus, it is unfair not only to Ukrainians but to millions of people in the world to try to shield Russian citizens from the consequences of war which they support.

    As another example, Cargill justifies their continued operations in Russia by stating that “Food is a basic human right and should never be used as a weapon“. But this is exactly what Russia does – it destroys Ukrainian grain storages and agricultural machines, it steals Ukrainian grain and blocks Ukrainian ports depriving not only Ukrainian farmers of their revenues but also many people in African and Asian countries of food. If Cargill believes that food should not be used as a weapon then why is it supporting Russia?

    Second, Russia is a large producer and exporter of food. It also has a large domestic retail sector (e.g. Magnit, Lenta, Perekrestok etc). So it is doubtful that without those companies or without foreign supermarkets the Russian population would be deprived of the basic food. Likewise, Russia has several dozens of producers of hygiene products which can substitute for foreign producers who leave. In fact, Russians themselves do not want to see foreign companies in their country – they started the campaign “Zamestim” (meaning “we will replace”, where the first cyrylic letter was deliberately replaced with a half-swastika russia uses as their war symbol). This campaign implies that they plan to replace imported goods with locally produced ones. If foreign companies are so willing to support Russian people, why don’t they support this campaign?

    Third, “premediated bankruptcies” of foreign producers or retailers will not strengthen Russian economy because an enterprise is not only premises and goods. An enterprise is primarily technology, management and expertise. Without foreign managers and engineers those plants and supermarkets will not be worth anything. This is acknowledged even by the strongest supporters of Putin’s regime.

    Fourth, very often those companies that cite “caring for their Russian employees” as the reason to remain in Russia have at the same time closed their Ukrainian production sites because of the war. E.g. Mondelez states that “We continue to prioritize the safety of our people and our operations remain closed in Ukraine…As a food company, we are scaling back all non-essential activities in Russia while helping maintain continuity of the food supply during the challenging times ahead. We will also continue to support our colleagues in the market who are facing great uncertainty.” Is it fair to deprive Ukrainians of their jobs (and Ukraine of its taxes) while at the same time supporting the jobs and paying taxes in the aggressor state? The same taxes that are then used to purchase weapons to bomb their Ukrainian employees?

    Fifth, companies providing pharmaceuticals or medical goods refer to ethics stating that they would continue supplying patients in Russia with essential drugs. However, as explained above, thousands of people in Ukraine are left without medical help. Russian occupants deliberately block humanitarian convoys, destroy medical facilities; in some cases they did not allow pregnant women to go to maternity hospitals. Is this an ethical behaviour? We believe that it is not. We believe that all the pharmaceutical and healthcare companies that consider themselves “ethical” or “socially responsible” should immediately withdraw from Russia. If Russian patients need some medicines, they should ask their government to provide them with those medicines. Or they should turn to the Red Cross to which multinational companies donated huge amounts of money and which tried to help Russia to deport Ukrainians.

    Sixth, some companies stated that they would donate their profits from Russian operations to Ukraine, and some already reported donations either to Ukraine or to international charities such as Red Cross, UNICEF, or Save the Children. While this charitable activity can be welcomed, a much more efficient way to help Ukraine would be to donate to local organizations that have much leaner bureaucracy and better understand the needs on the ground. Moreover, while making these donations they are also paying wages to the Russian employees and taxes to the Russian government which are then–directly or indirectly–used to buy weapons and kill more Ukrainians.

    Thus any excuses that one may find for remaining in Russia can be easily dismissed. What these companies (and the others, which remain silent) are really doing is protecting their market shares and their profits. Protecting a few thousand lives and jobs in a country that killed tens of thousands since February 24th (and killed hundreds of thousands before that – in Ukraine, Syria, Chechnya, Georgia and other states) and caused millions to lose their jobs, houses, their entire lives is a hypocrisy and an extreme degree of cynicism.

    Annex. Analysis of statements of companies that stayed in Russia

    We analyzed 60 statements of companies who stay in Russia to see what companies put into them. Figure A1 shows what was mentioned in these statements. It shows that in more than a half of analyzed statements companies mentioned caring for Russian consumers in different forms (e.g. provision of essential goods, ethical issues, “putting patients first” etc). Some companies mentioned their consumers in general, without dividing them into Russian and Ukrainian. One company talked about consumers in CIS countries to whom products of plants based in Russia are delivered.

    More than a half of the companies described helping their Ukrainian employees – providing financial support, helping to relocate etc. Almost two times less companies justified their stay in Russia by their responsibility to support Russian employees; some companies specified that these employees “face challenges”, “have no impact on the situation” and even “face threats of imprisonment, unsafe conditions, and countersanctions.” There were a few “exotic” statements, such as “donating seeds to Russian farmers to avoid global food crisis” or “caring for cocoa producing families”.

    A lot of companies reported donations – to Ukraine, Ukrainian refugees and/or large international charities or humanitarian organizations.

    Figure A2 shows that companies mostly call the war the war. Some of them went even further and used such words as ‘invasion’ or ‘brutal aggression’. 14 statements directly or indirectly called Russia an aggressor, although in direct statements the formulation was “Russian army” or “Russian government” rather than Russia. To the contrast, 13 companies (almost a quarter) used some euphemisms to describe the war, such as “conflict”, “situation in Ukraine” or “events in Ukraine”.

    French arms firm busts sanctions to help Russia build weapons

    It was the BMD-4 with the Thales-made Catherine FC thermal imaging camera that took part in the shelling of Ukrainian civilian cars in Bucha.

    I saw a post by volunteers on a social network, and together with my fellow lawyers we launched our own probe into the French manufacturer’s involvement in Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine.

    Oleksandr Dubilet,

    Chairman of the Board of CB “PrivatBank” (1997-2016), Financial and banking expert

    So-called exemplary company

    In France, Thales is not just a public company. There are three arguments to support this assertion.

    1) The company specializes in the manufacture of systems for military, aerospace and maritime purposes

    2) The company’s shares are listed on the Paris Stock Exchange

    3) It is not so much the private shareholder (the Dassault family with its 24.62% share) that is important, but the French government and its 25.67% share. Simply put, a company that is more than a quarter controlled by the French government, exports components that kill Ukrainians.

    According to open sources, Thales supplied Catherine FC thermal imaging cameras to Russia, which were used to manufacture the Essa, Plissa and Sosna-U thermal sighting systems. They enhance the combat capabilities of modified Russian T-80, T-90, T-72 tanks and other military vehicles.

    Conscious violators

    After photo and video evidence of “fruitful” cooperation between Thales and Russia appeared on the Internet thanks to volunteers, my fellow lawyers and I have found real evidence that Thales supplied these combat components after the imposition of sanctions related to Russia’s annexation of the Crimea.

    Since this model of equipment was created in 2016, foreign manufacturers had to supply components at least a year earlier. Consequently, Thales sold military goods and technologies to Russia after the introduction of the first wave of sanctions (Council Regulation (EU) No. 833/2014 of July 31, 2014).

    Are these sanctions significant? Undoubtedly. In 2015, Thales failed to sign a $1.3 billion deal to supply two helicopter carriers to Russia. Instead, both ships were sold to Egypt.

    I will also talk about a lesser-known episode of illegal but profitable cooperation between Thales and the aggressor state. The French company Sofradir, a subsidiary company of Thales, specializes in the manufacture of infrared detectors for military, space and commercial use.

    According to NGO Disclose, in 2016, the company supplied 83 infrared detectors (S24) and 258 infrared detectors (S02) to Russia’s CJSC TPK Linkos.

    What is Linkos? According to the Arms of Russia information agency, Linkos specializes in the development and production of computers and communications equipment, optical, optical and electronic and microwave systems and complexes, night vision equipment and quantum electronics products.

    In addition, Sofradir supplied 138 infrared detectors (S10) to JSC NPO GIPO, the Russian state institute of applied optics, which develops and manufactures optical and electronic systems. Since 2008, GIPO has been a part of the Rostekhnologii state corporation.

    Mutually beneficial cooperation between this subsidiary of Thales and Russian military institutions is evidenced by two decisions (documents 1 and 2) of the 2016 Inter-ministerial Commission for the Study of Military Exports (CIEMMG) of France. According to the documents found by our team, French officials allowed Sofradir to supply military technology and goods despite the sanctions.

    In 2019, Sofradir and Ulis merged and created a new company – Lynred. The well-known Thales is a 50% shareholder in Lynred.

    The conclusion is simple: Sofradir actually misled the Inter-ministerial Commission by concluding an additional agreement “to fulfill the contract.” The additional agreement extended the contract and aimed at circumventing sanctions for further supplies of military technology to Russia.

    I  and my colleagues found information that proves that Thales violated the sanctions in both the first (thermal imaging cameras) and the second (infrared detectors, through the subsidiary Sofradir) episodes, in the public domain (!). In my opinion, this illustrates the perception of sanctions very well. That is, the above French companies did not even bother to conceal evidence of their sanctions violations.

    Demanding action

    An EU Council decision bans the supply of dual-use goods and technology to Russia. However, you may be interested to know that this document has a loophole that reads as follows: the authorized state body may issue a license to supply such goods under contracts concluded before August 1, 2014.

    And the French company Thales took full advantage of it, deliberately extending the old contracts through additional agreements and actually supplying military goods in 2015-2018.

    My team of lawyers is working on each of two episodes of criminal cooperation between Thales and its subsidiary Sofradir with Russia. We have sent statements to the EU Council as the body that imposed the sanctions, as well as informing the law enforcement agencies, in particular, the French prosecutor’s office. Our goal is to open criminal cases based on these statements.

    Having revealed the corporate structure of Thales and identified the shareholders (in particular, the French government), we plan to address the shareholders of this company, French banks, secondary monitoring bodies and stock exchanges and demand that they take appropriate action against sanctions violators.

    As in the case of our legal “hunt” for the Belgian company New Lachaussee, which supplied ammunition equipment for the Kalashnikov concern, the purpose of international lawsuits against Thales is to punish violators of sanctions and show the toxicity of any cooperation with the aggressor state.

    At a time when Ukrainians are dying for European values, Europe must be completely on our side.

    ·5 min read
    Find this story at 21 June 2022
    War in Ukraine: the Thales group has delivered kits to Russia until 2019 to assemble infrared cameras
    Thales acknowledges in a press release on Saturday April 30 having delivered until 2019 to the Russian company Vomz “kits for assembling thermal cameras”namely infrared cameras, confirming information from the Parisian. The French defense group, however, ensures that it does not have “nothing sold since 2014” and “the application of European sanctions against Russia”.

    “No new contract has been concluded with a Russian customer since the embargo”, adds Thales. Deliveries of new equipment made after 2014 concerned “contracts signed before July 2014”. “During the past few weeks, messages have been published on social networks showing our optronic equipment on board Russian military platforms”deplores Thales, who claims to share “the emotion aroused by these images”. But the group defends itself categorically.

    “No deliveries have been made to Russia since the start of the conflict in Ukraine.”

    Thales Group

    The company also claims to have “taken the decision to cease its activities in Russia”. Thales claims to be “always strictly complied with French and international regulations, including concerning the application of the 2014 European sanctions against Russia”. “No defense equipment export contract has been signed with Russia since 2014”, says the company. The group “denies being in a joint venture with the Russian company Vomz”, to whom he sold these kits until 2014.

    France’s Thales Accused Of Selling To Russia Despite Sanctions, Denied By Company

    “A family was trying to escape but was killed by Russian murderers,” tweeted presidential adviser Mykhaylo Podolyak. “Killed, as it is now proved, with French weapons sold in circumvention of sanctions in 2015.”

    Reached by AFP, Thales, whose largest shareholder is the French state, denied violating the sanctions that were imposed after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea in 2014.

    “Thales has always strictly complied with French and international regulations, including concerning the 2014 European sanctions against Russia,” the group said.

    “No defence equipment export contract has been signed with Russia since 2014 and no delivery has been made to Russia since the start of the conflict in Ukraine”, said the company, adding that it has decided to cease operations in Russia.

    In his Twitter post, Podolyak referenced a video made by Ukrainian blogger Pavlo Kashchuk, who examined a car found in the town of Bucha outside of Kyiv, where Ukraine accuses Russian forces of massacring hundreds of civilians.

    Kashchuk said the car, in which a woman’s body was found, was riddled with holes from shells fired from armoured vehicles from a large distance.

    “How could poorly trained Russian soldiers shoot so accurately with old post-Soviet equipment?” Kashchuk asked.

    He said he found the answer to this question in the nearby town of Vorzel, where Ukrainian forces captured four of Russia’s BMD-4 armoured vehicles.

    Kashchuk said those vehicles were equipped with sophisticated fire control systems, technology that had been sold to Russia by Thales.

    In his video the blogger also showed a thermal camera which he says was recovered from an abandoned Russian tank. The Thales logo is visible on it, accompanied by the date 06/16 and the words “made in Russia.”

    Kashchuk said it was assembled in Russia using Thales components.

    “It’s just one of the many schemes allowing Western companies to circumvent the embargo and continue supplying the Russian army of evil with the most state-of-the-art military technologies,” he said.

    The accusations follow a March report by the investigative outlet Disclose, which found that France had delivered military equipment, including thermal cameras, to Russia between 2015 and 2020.

    The French Defence Ministry said it was fulfilling contracts concluded before the sanctions were adopted in July 2014, under the so-called grandfathering clause.

    Find this story at 22 April 2022

    The French company Thales supplied Russia with its Catherine FC thermal imagers for the BMD-4M

    Pavlo Kashchuk, known as the founder of the infocar.ua project and host of the YouTube channel of the same name, published a video on it, shot after Bucha’s liberation from the ruscism occupiers. It shows not only traces of war crimes with the killing of civilians, but also abandoned equipment by retreating troops, which found French-made thermal imagers supplied by Thales Group after the imposition of sanctions against Russia.

    The video begins with a demonstration of the cemetery of civilian cars taken to one place in Bucha. Paul draws attention to the holes from the 30-mm gun in the trunk lid of the Renault Sandero (in Europe, the car is sold as a Dacia Sandero) and their accuracy, despite the fact that the shots were fired from a great distance.

    This 30-mm gun is installed on the BMD-4M (landing combat vehicle), entered service with the Russian army in 2016 (ie after the imposition of sanctions banning the supply of dual-use equipment to Russia). One of these BMD-4Ms was dropped by retreating racist troops in Bucha:

    The modernization of the BMD-4M consists in the installation of equipment for the gunner, taking into account the stabilized sight in two planes, which has thermal imaging and rangefinder channels. This equipment allows the machine to fire at any time of day in any weather.

    The equipment removed from the BMD-4M indicates a violation by Thales Group of the ban on the supply of dual-use equipment (ie, that can be used for military purposes).

    The Thales logo is indicated on the equipment dismantled by the combat vehicle

    In particular, a thermal imager is used, which allows the arrow to see the target in the dark, Catherine FC, made by this company. “It is allegedly going to the Russian plant in Vologda. That is, according to French drawings from components bought from the French,” – Kashchuk said in the video. — “And this is just one of the schemes that allow Western companies to circumvent the embargo and continue to supply the Russian army of evil with the latest military technology.

    According to the specifications, the Catherine FC thermal imager (note the date of manufacture – June 2016) allows you to create images with a resolution of 768×576 pixels and operates at a distance of up to 2.5 kilometers. The module itself weighs less than 3 kilograms with dimensions of 258x172x100 mm and is certified in accordance with the military standard MIL STD 810.

    About Thales Group

    Thales Group (pronounced “Thales”) has a history dating back to 1892 and until 2010 was called Thomson-CSF and named after the ancient Greek philosopher Thales of Miletus. Its headquarters are located in the Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris. It employs about 68,000 people in more than 50 countries. In 2011, the company’s turnover was €13 billion. Fortune magazine ranked it among the world’s 500 largest companies, ranking 475th. Thales Group is ranked 11th in the world among companies engaged in the supply of military equipment. Since December 2014, Thales Group has been headed by Patrice Caine, who is also a member of the Board of Directors of Naval Group (since 2015) and L’Oréal (since 2018) and has received awards – bronze medal of national defense and the Order of Merit, and is also a cavalier of the Legion of Honor.

    The fact that 27.1% of the company’s shares belong to the French government casts a shadow over the entire country, which appears to be a sponsor of terrorism that supports Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine.

    Find this story at 21 April 2022

    EU’S SHAME France and Germany dodged Russia arms embargo to sell weapons to Putin – that are now being used to slaughter Ukrainians

    FRANCE, Germany and Italy side-stepped an arms embargo to sell weapons to Vladimir Putin that are being used to slaughter Ukrainians.

    On a day of shame for the EU, it emerged ten member states sold hundreds of millions of pounds of military kit to Russia between 2015 and 2020.

    Paris sent bombs, rockets and explosives, as well as thermal-imaging cameras for 1,000 tanks and infra-red detectors for jets.

    Berlin sold what it called “dual-use equipment” including rifles, “special protection” vehicles and icebreaker vessels and Rome provided armoured cars.

    EU states, including then-member Britain, hit Russia with a weapons embargo in 2014 over the annexation of Crimea.

    But a loophole allowed countries and firms to fulfil contracts they had previously signed with Russia.

    And a probe by Investigate Europe shows EU27 states issued more than 1,000 licences after the ban.

    France went on to flog £130million of military kit to the Kremlin, Germany sold £100million and Italy made £19million.

    In 2015, Rome authorised the sale of Lynce military all-terrain vehicles to Moscow – which have been seen in Ukraine since the war began by Italian TV channel La7.

    Despite the EU imposing an embargo on weapon sales, investigative website Disclose reports that between 2015 and 2020, France issued 76 export licences to Russia for military equipment.

    And according to a report by Investigate Europe, ten EU member states continued to send weapons to Russia after the embargo – with Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Finland, Slovakia and Spain on the list.

    Figures from the EU Council Working Party on Conventional Arms Exports reveal the ten EU states exported military equipment worth a total of £291million to Russia between 2015 and 2020.

    Out of the ten, France reportedly accounted for 44 per cent of sales, with aircraft, navigation systems, torpedoes and missiles among the equipment sent.

    In 2015, French president François Hollande was pressured into ditching plans to flog two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships to Russia – but successive French governments went on to take advantage of the loophole.

    Britain also sold weapons to Russia after the embargo was imposed, but only £1.7million worth.

    And after dodging the Russian arms embargo, Germany was slammed by Kyiv’s mayor after offering to send 5,000 helmets to support Ukrainian forces against Putin’s troops.

    Former boxer-turned politician Vitali Klitschko poked fun at the offer, asking if the nation would like to send pillows instead as Berlin refused to send weapons to Ukraine.

    But just days into the invasion, Germany bowed to pressure and reversed its historic policy to not send weapons to conflict zones – offering to hand over 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 Stinger anti-aircraft defence systems to Ukraine

    Meanwhile, as Putin’s invasion of Ukraine stalls with the US estimating some 30,000 Russian soldiers have been killed or captured since the conflict began, defiant Ukrainians have been seizing Russian equipment to use against them as the war rages on into its fourth week.

    Volodymyr Zelensky has begged European leaders to send more weapons to help Ukrainians tirelessly defend their country as Russian forces continue to blast major cities.

    The heroic leader urged leaders of the Joint Expeditionary Force on Tuesday to “help yourself by helping us” by sending more equipment.

    “We all are the targets of Russia and everything will go against Europe if Ukraine won’t stand, so I would like to ask you to help yourself by helping us. ,” Zelensky said.

    “You know the weapons we need. You know what kind of defence measures we need. You know that our need is fighter jets and without your support it would be very difficult

    “‘We want you to help us and I would hope that you will be able to enhance that support and you will see how this will protect your security, your safety and how that will make a stable peace not only for us but for your countries.”

    Zelensky said shipments of supplies from nations in Europe were being used up quickly as Ukrainian forces push captured Russian weapons and machinery into service.

    It comes as the Ukrainian President again asked Washington and its NATO allies to impose a no-fly zone to ensure “Russia wouldn’t be able to terrorise our free cities”.

    He addressed Joe Biden directly, saying: “I wish you to be the leader of the world. Being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace.”

    Biden and Nato have resisted Zelensky’s pleas for direct involvement against Russia – warning it could lead to World War Three.

    But the US President this week unveiled his latest package of aid to Ukraine to add to the £10.3billion in military and humanitarian aid already approved.

    The US said they would provide long-range missile defence and Switchblade armed drones, which will allow Kyiv’s forces to better defend against Russian aircraft from a distance.

    And the West has stepped up the range of powerful weapons being supplied to Ukraine, with Bayraktar TB2 drones, Stinger missiles and Portable anti-tank weapons being sent.

    It comes as Putin’s troops continue to press their assault on major cities, with fresh missile strikes and shelling on the edges of Kyiv and the western city of Lviv.

    Outside Lviv, black smoke billowed for hours after a strike early on Friday, which the mayor said hit a facility for repairing military aircraft near the city’s international airport, also damaging a bus repair facility.

    Early morning barrages also hit on the northern edges of the capital, with at least one person killed by shelling on Podil, a neighborhood just north of downtown Kyiv, according to emergency services.

    Meanwhile, Mariupol is being flattened by a squadron of 25 Russian bombers flying sorties over the city every day — with 90 per cent of all buildings damaged or destroyed.

    Around 14,000 elite Russian troops surround the city, with many of the 400,000 residents — trapped for a 17th day without power and running water — drinking from puddles to survive.

     Katie Davis
    EU member states exported weapons to Russia after the 2014 embargo (2022)

    Find this story at 17 March 2022

    Staggering data shows NATO aided Putin by supplying arms being used against Ukraine (2022)
    STAGGERING unearthed data has revealed several NATO countries – including the UK – have supplied weapons and military equipment to Russia worth hundreds of millions of pounds, some of which are likely to be used against Ukraine today.

    NATO military alliance members including the UK, France and Germany, are being accused of supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by continuing to supply weapons to the Russian military up until at least 2020, despite an embargo following the annexation of Crimea in 2014. According to data unearthed from the Working Party on Conventional Arms Exports (COARM), a third of the European Union’s member states have exported weapons to Russia in recent years.

    The COARM data, first analysed by Investigate Europe, reveals a staggering €346million (£290million) worth of military equipment – including aircraft, vehicles, missiles, rockets, torpedos and bombs – was exported to Russia from at least 10 EU countries between 2015 and 2020.

    The report reveals several “loopholes” in an embargo against issuing weapons to Moscow after the 2014 Crimea annexation which were exploited by European countries.

    Under the terms of the embargo, existing contracts could be fulfilled provided that they had been agreed to before 2014 – allowing nations to provide Russia’s military with weapons until 2020.

    France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Finland, Slovakia and Spain are all implicated in the report, with France singled out as the top exporter of arms to Russia.

    Additionally, data from the UK Government’s Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU) shows the UK may also have taken advantage of this loophole.

    So what has the UK supplied?

    According to the ECJU data – which was compiled by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) group – the UK granted 30 licences to export £3.7million worth of goods classes “for military purpose” to Russia between the 2014 embargo and September 2018.

    Most of the licences were given in 2014, with additional licences in 2015 and 2016 with the last being in 2018 – according to the data which runs to the end of September 2021.

    These included £1.4million to fund military aircraft, helicopter and drone components, as well as a further £1.2million worth of ammunition.

    A total of £780,000 was approved for electronic equipment and £312,000 on small arms, while another £26,000 was paid out for equipment and test models and £2,900 on imaging equipment.

    Note these figures do not necessarily reflect the actual value of good exported – the ECJU only collects data on the value of goods that companies were given permission to export, regardless of whether these contracts are eventually fulfilled.

    Additionally, companies can be awarded ‘dual use’ licences for both military and non-military purposes by the Government, which weren’t halted under the 2014 embargo.

    Including dual-purpose licences, a total of 1,129 licences have been granted to Russia since the annexing of Crimea, taking the total combined value to £1.2billion.

    On February 24, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced he would suspend dual-purpose licences to Russia as part of a package of sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine.

    A UK Government spokesperson said: “The UK has not granted any licences to Russia that would be inconsistent with the sanctions measures imposed in July 2014.

    “Following the illegal invasion of Ukraine, we suspended approval of new export licences for dual-use items to Russia with immediate effect.

    “The UK takes its export control responsibilities extremely seriously. All licences not consistent with sanctions measures will be revoked and military exports to Russia remain prohibited.”


    What about the rest of the EU?

    According to the COARM data, France has emerged as the top exporter to Russia since 2014, with 44 percent of European arms to Russia originating there.

    In total, the country issued more than 70 licences worth €152million (£128million) from 2014.

    According to the Investigate Europe report on the figures, France has given authorisation to export items in the category of “bombs, rockets, torpedoes, missiles, explosive charges” alongside “imaging equipment, aircraft with their components and ‘lighter-than-air vehicles’”.

    Furthermore, a report into the statistics by the independent Franch outlet Disclose showed that thermal imaging cameras and infrared sensors were purchased from  French shareholder companies Safran and Thales.

    This equipment is reported to adorn Russian tanks and fighter jets operating on the Ukrainian frontline in today’s brutal war.

    Like the UK, the data shows most French licences were granted directly after the annexation of Crimea and have slowly declined since 2015 under the embargo.

    France’s Ministry of the Armed Forces told Investigate Europe the country is committed “to apply very strictly” to the 2014 embargo and that weapons given to Russia since were “a residual flow, resulting from past contracts… and which has gradually died out”.

    Germany also tops the list, with the figures showing the nation exported 35 percent of all EU arms to Russia, totalling €121.8million (£102.25million) worth of equipment.

    This included icebreaker vessels, rifles and “special protection” vehicles.

    German exports were largely granted under ‘dual use’ licences – as such, the exports are not deemed to be in breach of the 2014 sanctions, Investigate Europe said.

    In third place, the COARM figures show Italy has sold weapons to Russia totalling €22.5million (£18.8million) with the first contract signed in 2015 authorising up to €25million (£20million) worth of land vehicles parts.

    Such vehicles have been seen on the Ukrainian front line by the Italian TV channel La7.

    Elsewhere in the data, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Finland, Slovakia and Spain are also implied in arms sales to Russia.

    Germany exported military equipment to Russia despite embargo: Report (2022)

    $134 million worth of military equipment shipped between 2014 and 2020, despite EU sanctions on Russia, according to local media

    Germany shipped €122 million ($134 million) worth of military equipment to Russia despite the EU arms embargo in effect since 2014, local media has reported. Nine other EU member states also exported military goods during that time, said the report.

    German arms exports to Russia between 2014 and 2020 included special protection vehicles and icebreaker vessels but also lethal weapons such as rifles, according to a report by Investigate Europe.

    Economy Ministry spokesperson Annike Einhorn told reporters on Friday that since the EU’s arms embargo in 2014, Germany has not granted any new licenses for exports of military equipment to Russia.

    But she was unable to account for the deliveries that continued until 2020.

    According to the report, between 2014 and 2020 at least 10 EU member states exported a total of €346 million worth of arms to Russia.

    France was the top exporter of arms to Russia, with €152 million worth of military equipment, followed by Germany (€122 million) and Italy (€22 million).

    Following Moscow’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, the EU decided to ban export or transfer of any arms and related material to Russia.

    Ayhan Simsek   |18.03.2022


    Find this story at 18 March 2022

    France, Germany and Italy sold hundreds of millions of pounds worth of arms and military kit to Russia for years despite embargo (2022)

    France, Germany and Italy sold hundreds of millions worth of arms to Russia 

    They sold military kit to the Kremlin for years despite an EU embargo banning it

    They were three of at least 10 countries to use a loophole to get past the ban 

    France alone sold €152million out of a total €350million (£293million) exported

    France, Germany and Italy used a loophole in a ban of exporting arms to Russia to send the Kremlin €296million worth of military equipment that is now being used against Ukraine.

    They were just three of at least 10 EU member states to export almost €350million (£293million) in equipment that can include missiles, rockets, ships and bombs.

    It should have been impossible to do so owing to an EU embargo that banned selling arms to Russia following the 2014 annexation of Crimea.

    A T-72B3  is one of the tanks French military kit could be equipped on. Pictured: A T-72B3 during a military drill in St. Petersburg, Russia on February 14, 2022, ten days before the war in Ukraine started

    France, Germany and Italy used a loophole in a ban of exporting arms to Russia to send the Kremlin €296million worth of military equipment that is now being used against Ukraine. They were just three of at least 10 EU member states to export almost €350million (£293million) in equipment that can include missiles, rockets, ships and bombs

    The EU banned ’the direct or indirect sale, supply, transfer or export of arms and related material of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts therefore, to Russia’ eight years ago.

    However, countries were able to sell hundreds of millions of pounds worth of kit to Russia despite the ban using a backdoor technicality that permitted contacts signed before August 1, 2014, or additional contracts that would help conclude those deals.

    France was responsible for the majority of exports, raking in €152 million in sales, as revealed by Disclose.

    Ukraine claimed to have shot down a Russian Su-30SM jet, which could have had French infrared kit on board, over the outskirts of Kyiv, with wreckage falling on a house and leaving several people injured

    A Russian helicopter is shot down somewhere over Kyiv (left), while the wreckage of what appears to be a jet falls from the skies near the capital (right). European detecting systems may have been attached to Russian helicopters

    That amounts to 44 per cent of European arms exported to Russia, as reported by Investigate Europe.

    From 2015 French authorities allowed the sale of weapons that fell into the category of bombs, rockets, torpedoes, missiles and explosive charges to Russia.

    Other exports included thermal imaging cameras for more than 1,000 Russian tanks, including T-80BVMs and T-72B3s, and infrared spotters for attack jets and helicopters.

    Even in 2014 France was still allowing the sale of chemical and biological weapons to Moscow.

    Germany came in at a close second, exporting 35 per cent of all EU arms to Putin with €121.8million sold.

    Italy sold the third most, exporting €22.5million from 2015 to 2020. They also allegedly sold €21.9million in arms and ammunition to Russian civilians and paramilitary groups between January and November 2021.

    Britain also sold £1.7million worth of army to Russia after the EU ban was imposed.

    President Zelensky of Ukraine has maintained calls for more Western support, weapons as well as a no-fly zone as Putin’s invasion today entered its fourth week.

    Vladimir Putin today held a huge rally to prop-up support for his invasion of Ukraine in front of thousands of ‘Z’ flag-waving Russians crammed into Moscow’s Luzhniki World Cup stadium.

    The pro-war event saw the Russian talk about the success of his ‘special operation’ in Ukraine.

    Vladimir Putin today held a huge rally to prop-up support for his invasion of Ukraine in front of thousands of ‘Z’ flag-waving Russians crammed into Moscow’s Luzhniki World Cup stadium

    Ukrainian forces have mounted stiff resistance and the West has imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia in an effort to force it to withdraw its forces.

    As his bombs continued to fall just hundreds of miles away in Ukraine, Putin boasted of Russia and Crimea’s ‘shared destiny’, and praised the peninsula’s people for voting in a referendum to be part of Russia – which was held while it was still occupied by Russian troops.

    ‘We are united by the same destiny,’ he said of the people of Russia and Crimea. ‘This is how the people thought and that’s what they were guided by when they had the referendum in Sevastopol.

    ‘They want to share their historical destiny with their motherland Russia – let us congratulate them on this occasion, it is their occasion. Congratulations,’ he said to huge cheers.

    Putin repeated false claims about neo-Nazis in Ukraine, a line he has used repeatedly in an attempt to justify his invasion – despite Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky being Jewish, and far-right parties enjoying almost no political support in the country.


    Find this story at 18 March 2022

    France continued to deliver Russia weapons after 2014 embargo

    France continued to issue arms export licences to Russia after the 2014 embargo, investigative website Disclose has revealed.

    According to leaked documents, French companies delivered arms to Russia after the EU imposed sanctions, including an arms embargo, against Russia in 2014. France has since issued more than 70 licences to export military equipment to companies worth €152 million.

    Contacted by EURACTIV France, the Armed Forces ministry confirmed that France “allowed “the execution of certain contracts concluded before 2014”, something the EU embargo against Russia allowed.

    According to the ministry, other European countries did the same. Additional export licences the ministry considered problematic like those for Mistral fighter jets had not been fulfilled.

    But equipment delivered after 2014 would have enabled Russia’s army and air force to modernise its vehicles, notably with cameras and navigation systems for aircraft, Disclose reported. According to the ministry, this is a “residual flow from past contracts […] that has gradually died out” and is mentioned in annual reports to parliament.

    The latest report to parliament on arms deliveries from 2021 shows a considerable decrease since 2016 in the number of delivery licences granted by France, both in terms of number and value of equipment delivered, with 2020 seeing the lowest figure of around €300,000.

    Since 2018, Russia has not placed any more arms orders despite being France’s largest buyer from 2011, the report states.


     15 Mar 2022


    Find this story at 15 March 2022

    A Third of EU Member States Exported Weapons to Russia (2022)

    A third of European Union (EU) member states exported weapons to Russia after the 2014 embargo banning them, according to data from the working group, which records all military exports from the 27, analyzed by Investigate Europe.

    The data, released today in the newspaper Public, indicate that 10 EU countries exported weapons to Russia after the July 2014 embargo, which prohibits “the direct or indirect sale, supply, transfer or export of weapons and related material”. The 2014 embargo followed the annexation of Crimea and the proclamation of the breakaway republics of Donbass six months earlier.Every year, the 27 member states submit their data to the Council of the EU Working Group on Conventional Arms Exports, COARM.

    Data analyzed by the Investigate Europe consortium indicates that between 2015 and 2021 at least 10 member states exported weapons to Russia worth a total of 346 million euros.

    According to the consortium’s investigation, some European Union countries used a legal loophole in regulations to continue their trade.

    The embargo “does not apply to contracts and agreements, nor to ongoing negotiations carried out before August 1, 2014, nor to the supply of spare parts and services necessary for the maintenance and security of existing capacities,” according to the consortium.

    COARM explained in a response sent to Investigate Europe that “the EU arms embargo contains the following exemption: contracts concluded before 1 August 2014 or accessory contracts for the performance of such contracts. should be covered by this exemption. Member States are responsible for ensuring compliance with the arms embargo and the EU Common Position”.According to COARM, member states are not arming Russia.

    Investigate Europe’s analysis puts France far ahead of EU partners, with 44% of sales to Russia.

    Since 2015, France has issued export licenses for “bombs, rockets, torpedoes, missiles, explosive charges”, but also “imaging equipment, planes with their components and drones”.

    According to the survey, in 2014 French arms dealers authorized the shipment to Russia of “toxic chemical or biological agents, riot control agents and radioactive substances”.

    After France comes Germany, which, according to the consortium, exported 121.8 million euros to Russia, representing 35% of total exports.Behind France and Germany are also Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Finland, Slovakia and Spain, but with lower sales. Portugal is not part of this group.

    Find this story at 17 March 2022
    EU arms firms trying to flout Belarus and Russia ban (2021)

    Three EU-based firms are suspected of trying to smuggle arms to Belarus and Russia, in what might be the tip of a larger black market.

    Czech firm Česká zbrojovka tried to export over 100 rifles and pistols via Moldova to Russia in 2020, according to a Moldovan document seen by EUobserver.

    The shipment included ‘CZ TSR’-model sniper rifles, which can be used for sport or by special police.

    Hungarian firm De Fango and Slovak firm XXeurope also tried to export hundreds of thousands of ammunition cartridges via Moldova to Belarus at about the same time, the document indicated.

    The EU imposed arms embargoes on Belarus and Russia in 2011 and 2014.

    And a Moldovan liaison officer shared the information – a 12-page PowerPoint presentation created by Moldovan law-enforcement authorities – with an EU diplomat in Chișinău in July to raise the alarm.

    It also named Moldovan arms firm Cartuș, a Russian company called Alliance, and a Belarusian one called Outdoor Team in the alleged scheme to bypass EU sanctions.

    “What are the documents required in EU countries to export [military items] to non-EU countries?”, the Moldovan document asked.

    “Is circumventing [EU] embargoes by using states [Moldova] that have not ratified the embargo criminalised or entails only pecuniary liability?,” it also said.

    Moldova’s foreign ministry confirmed one of the cases to EUobserver, saying: “The [Moldovan] government … stopped an attempt to export civilian ammunitions to Belarus”.

    “They were confiscated and are currently being kept on the territory of the Republic of Moldova. The judiciary … has opened an investigation into the case, followed by several searches last week,” it said on Tuesday (5 October).

    “The ammunitions were imported from Hungary, but originally produced in Finland and Switzerland,” Moldova added, widening the list of potential EU culprits.

    Moldova was “open to collaboration with any EU institution or EU member state agency investigating this case,” the ministry told EUobserver.

    “The [prime minister Natalia] Gavrilița-government … has made it a priority to fight against corruption and to clean state institutions,” it also said.

    Slovakia corroborated fishy goings on at XXeurope.

    “We can confirm that XXeurope applied for an export licence for ammunition with a declared end-user in Moldova (for the civilian market) in April 2020. After thorough examination of the application, the Slovak MFA [ministry of foreign affairs] decided not to grant a permission for export,” it said.

    “Slovakia applies strict control in arms exports,” it added.

    “Czechia also fully implements all EU or UN arms embargoes,” its foreign ministry told EUobserver.

    The Hungarian foreign ministry said it “complies … with the rules on arms embargo and other restrictive measures adopted by the United Nations or the European Union”.

    Czech firm Česká zbrojovka told EUobserver after this story was already published “it has not supplied any of its products subject to international sanctions to either Russia or Belarus, while such sanctions have been in place” and “not authorised any of its customers or business partners to make any such sales”.

    De Fango, the Hungarian arms company, told EUobserver it “does not supply goods to Russia and Belarus”.

    “All deliveries by our company are carried out exclusively with the permission of the competent state authorities of Hungary, observing all Hungarian laws and EU laws,” it said.

    XXeurope, the Slovak firm, which is located in Žilina in north-west Slovakia, did not list a phone number or email address.

    Moldovan company Cartuș denied wrongdoing in a statement also sent after this article was published.

    Belarusian firm Outdoor Team, which is located in an industrial estate outside Minsk, did not reply.

    A man who answered when EUobserver phoned Russian firm Alliance in St Petersburg declined to identify himself. But he said: “We don’t have any interest to talk about this problematic [sic]. It’s too big emotion [sic]. We don’t need to talk with you. Good day. Excuse me”.

    EU light

    For its part, the EU foreign service recently asked Bratislava, Budapest, and Prague to shed light on the affair in the EU Council, where member states meet.

    The European Commission and Europol, the joint EU police agency in The Hague, have also been seized of the Moldova re-export scheme, according to internal EU documents seen by EUobserver.

    “Moldovan authorities made a presentation about possible cases of violation of arms embargoes on Russia and Belarus from Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia,” a recent internal EU foreign-service email said, referring to Chișinău’s PowerPoint document.

    “The alleged scheme involves manufacturers from these countries which exported weapons (pistols and rifles) or ammunitions to Moldova and then re-exported to Russia and Belarus,” the email added.

    The EU foreign service declined to comment when asked if it was pursuing an investigation.

    “In cases where the EEAS [EU External Action Service] hears about a potential case of violation of EU arms embargoes, it informs the relevant EU member state(s) and requests the necessary information in order to investigate the allegations and ensure implementation,” its spokesman said.

    But the revelation of the Moldova scheme posed the question if there was a wider black market in EU arms to embargoed states.

    And the EU foreign-service email highlighted a potential loophole in the arms-control regime.

    “EU sanctions apply in the territory of the EU and third states [such as Moldova] cannot be found liable of violation of EU sanctions,” it said.

    “In case of alignment of third countries on EU sanctions, it is for the third country to decide on the course of action under its own national law,” it added.

    For the Czech foreign ministry, the existing rules worked fine.

    “There is no loophole in EU arms embargoes – if any end-user in the third country re-exports arms to embargoed countries, then it constitutes a clear breach of EU law and it is subject to an investigation,” it told EUobserver.

    But EU guns and riot-control equipment have turned up in Belarus before.

    These included German-made pistols brandished by Belarusian police against pro-democracy protesters last September, according to German broadcaster ZDF.

    And they included Czech-made stun grenades used against crowds last year, some of which caused serious injuries, according to US think-tank the Atlantic Council.

    The EU also has arms embargoes on Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.


    But the Moldova-Belarus scheme showed that some of the EU measures were “just symbolic”, one EU security source commented.

    “In general, the flow of arms and ammo to Belarus and Russia [from EU countries] is wider [than the Moldova scheme], including other military equipment,” the source said.

    Sometimes, the devil was in the detail of individual EU arms bans, which contained derogations.

    And for its part, the Czech Republic took an interest in tweaking EU rules on arms to Russia earlier this year.

    “Coest discussed the CZ [Czech] proposal concerning a modification of the scope of the [Russia] arms embargo,” a memo dated 22 July from the EU Council’s Working Party on Eastern Europe and Central Asia (Coest) to its Working Party of Foreign Relations Counsellors (Relex), said.

    But if anybody misbehaved, they should have known better, because another EU memo, dated 14 May 2019 and also seen by EUobserver, spelled out the details of the Russia and Belarus bans.

    Some types of “civilian firearms” could be sold to Russia, the letter from Relex to the Council’s Working Party on Conventional Arms Exports said.

    But nothing should be sold to Belarus because its EU sanctions included “restrictions on equipment used for internal repression,” while the EU sanctions on Russia did not, Relex said.

    Find this story at 6 October 2021

    Up in arms: Warring over Europe’s arms export regime (2019)

    The European Union’s poorly co-ordinated arms export policy is undermining Europe’s security, its foreign policy and its defence industry.

    The EU’s arms export policy should have three aims. First, arms control, in order to keep arms out of the wrong hands. Second, targeted arms exports to allies and countries that share the EU’s security challenges. Third, supporting the development of European military technology.

    The Union’s current arms export regime, the ‘Common Position’, sets out eight criteria that member-states must test export licenses against, such as respect for international humanitarian law in the destination country. But because defence is considered a matter of national sovereignty, the Common Position is not implemented or enforced at the EU level.

    The recent spat over arms exports to Saudi Arabia – Berlin ceased arms exports to the kingdom, to the chagrin of Paris and London – exposed how national arms export decisions are often driven by different political, economic and industrial concerns. Such disunity makes it harder for Europe to help resolve conflicts or influence the behaviour of third countries.

    Arms export policies differ across European countries because there is little consensus on the threats to the EU or on the Union’s interests. This has been evident in the EU’s foreign policy towards Syria and Venezuela. In May 2013, the EU’s 28 foreign ministers failed to reach a consensus on renewing the embargo on arms sales to Syria, with some member-states vying to arm rebel groups. And when anti-government protests erupted in Venezuela in early 2017, EU member-states spent months debating whether or not to intervene, allowing the situation to deteriorate significantly before finally agreeing on a sanctions package that included an arms embargo. In both cases, the EU found itself unable to seize its opportunity to alleviate the situation.

    Exporting to third countries allows defence companies to enlarge their customer base and create economies of scale. At the same time it raises the bar for European firms to make more competitive products. By combining stricter export controls with more research and development spending, the EU would create incentives for defence companies to improve technology while reducing death, injury and destruction outside the EU.

    Member-states will only join forces to develop new military equipment or weapon systems if they trust each other to provide the necessary components in times of crisis – to customers both inside and outside the EU. Without a reliable and consistent arms export policy at European level, the EU’s recent high-profile initiatives to improve European defence capabilities risk falling flat.

    A truly common EU arms export policy would require a supervisory body controlled by the European Commission to report violations of the Common Position by member-states. The Commission could refer member-states that refused to follow the rules to the European Court of Justice. But such a radical overhaul would require changes to the EU treaties – and there is no appetite among member-states to surrender their autonomy.

    However, there are smaller steps that the EU can take without treaty changes that would more closely align member-states’ arms exports regimes:

    specify what constitutes a ‘clear risk’ or ‘serious violation’ in the Common Position, make it explicit that existing licenses can be suspended or revoked, and make reporting obligations more stringent;

    help member-states implement stronger ‘end-use’ controls to ensure arms do not end up in unintended hands;

    clarify terms in the EU’s regulation on ‘dual-use’ goods (those with both a civilian and military use such as cyber-surveillance technology), and encourage information exchange between member-states;

    reach inter-governmental binding commitments to abide by the EU’s toughened export criteria between some member-states, especially France and Germany, which would put greater pressure on laxer member-states.

    Together, the EU’s member-states are second only to the US in the volume of arms they export.1 But EU arms export policy is poorly co-ordinated. The divergence is weakening Europe’s ability to achieve its foreign policy objectives, undermining not only its credibility as a principled, values-driven power but also its recent high-profile initiatives to improve European defence capabilities.

    Europeans recently fell out over arms exports to Saudi Arabia. Following the murder of Saudi journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018, Germany decided to suspend all arms exports to the kingdom. Other European countries including Finland, Denmark and Norway had already taken this decision following the devastating Saudi-led intervention in Yemen in 2015. France and the UK, however, sharply criticised Germany and pressed Chancellor Angela Merkel to revoke the decision.

    Too often, arms exports are driven by political, economic and industrial concerns, rather than by the EU’s own laws and guidelines. Governments are not only concerned with national security and regional stability, but also with facilitating the exports of domestic defence companies, which generate profits, jobs and tax revenues. Thus the allure of large arms contracts can skew a country’s foreign policy.

    The Saudi case underlines the need for a co-ordinated European arms export policy, which should have three strands. The first is arms control: keeping arms and dual-use goods out of the wrong hands, that is, state or non-state actors that could use them to violate international law or create instability.2 The second is targeted arms exports: selling military equipment to actors with shared security challenges. The third strand is the arms industry itself: a consistent, predictable and shared arms export policy would help support European capability development and foster a stronger European defence industry.

    Arms exports have been repeatedly excluded from EU treaty provisions. Member-states are unwilling to surrender their autonomy in this area of defence policy, which is guarded as a matter of national sovereignty. Attempts by the EU to co-ordinate national policies have repeatedly failed. The Council of the EU is currently reviewing the EU’s guidelines on arms exports: now is the time for a closer look at the EU’s arms export regime.

    This policy brief argues in favour of an effective common European arms export policy, examining its potential to support foreign policy through several case studies, and how it can support the EU’s ambition to build a strong European defence industrial base. We assess the EU’s current arms export regime, and ask whether a greater role for the EU in arms export regulation is possible and compatible with member-states’ interests. Finally, we make recommendations on how Europe’s arms export policy could be improved.

    Why does the EU need an arms export policy?

    A genuinely common policy would help prevent weapons made in the EU from being used to undermine stability or violate international humanitarian and human rights law. It would also help the EU to promote regional stability, protect allies and friendly states, and strengthen Europe’s defence industry.

    1. Control: Preventing weapons falling into the ‘wrong’ hands
    By restricting arms supplies, the EU can attempt to change a state’s behaviour. Arms embargoes can constrain aggressive behaviour by depriving a country of military resources. Restricting arms exports can also send a strong signal condemning human rights abuses or violations of international humanitarian law.

    2. Export: Putting weapons in the ‘right’ hands
    Europeans sometimes export to strategic partners or allies in crisis-prone regions in the hope of contributing to regional stability. For instance, the German government is donating 50 Marder tanks to Jordan to protect its borders against Islamist militant groups.6

    Exporting arms to conflict zones is a risky strategy, and should always form part of a comprehensive support programme, including training security forces about how to use the arms in line with international law. Supplying arms can alter regional dynamics in unpredictable ways, making a previously militarily weak country more belligerent, as seen with US arms sales to Iran in the 1970s.

    European arms and equipment can, however, be exported to support countries struggling with globally significant security challenges. Maritime security, for instance, is crucial for Europe’s prosperity and stability: 50 per cent of EU external trade is transported by sea, and maritime crime in the forms of theft, smuggling, piracy and terrorism is widespread. EU member-states can assist countries in their attempts to combat piracy by selling them naval equipment.

    Arms exports can also ensure that European allies and partners maintain technological parity with or superiority over shared adversaries. This strategy is already being pursued in Asia. To counterbalance Chinese dominance in the region, the US and some EU countries are exporting arms to countries like Indonesia: the Dutch company Damen, for example, exported two Sigma naval frigates to the Indonesian navy in 2017 and 2018. Arms exports can also increase interoperability and make it easier to conduct joint operations with partners.

    3. Supporting the EU’s defence industry

    If Europe is to become a credible defence player, it needs to have a strong defence industry. But a competitive defence industry requires a coherent and credible EU arms export policy.

    First, EU defence policy can help companies become less dependent on exports, and more selective about who to export to. To cope with the relatively low national-level defence spending in Europe in recent years, and with the fragmentation of the market, companies have prioritised commercially attractive dual-use capabilities – which can be used for both military and civilian objectives – or have shifted away from their home market and focused instead on exports. A business model that relies on exports means that restrictions on arms exports immediately endanger jobs. And since European countries tend to ‘buy national’, the main export markets for European arms are often in countries outside the EU, rather than in other member-states. As a result, European industries at times prioritise the capability needs of non-European customers over those of EU states.7

    At the same time, pursuing a strict ‘buy EU’ policy would make it more difficult for European military forces to fill their capability gaps in time, since the EU’s defence industries are not able to cater to all of Europe’s equipment needs.8 The more units of goods with high development costs that are produced, the lower the average cost of each unit. To achieve such ‘economies of scale’ in defence production, European industry has an interest in enlarging its potential customer base through exports. Plus, keeping the European market open and exporting to partner countries (such as democratic, law-abiding NATO members) would also raise the bar for European companies and lead to more competitive products.
    In a best-case scenario, the EU would stimulate defence research and development spending from member-states, which would benefit European industries and simultaneously relieve at least some of the pressure on them to find export customers and prioritise their requirements over those of European security.

    Second, member-states’ arms export policies need to be reliable and consistent in order to engage in joint capability development. The EU has devised a range of new initiatives to improve its defence capabilities. Among the most high-profile of these new initiatives are the Co-ordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), the European Defence Fund and Permanent Structured Co-operation (PESCO). All of these aim to encourage member-states to co-operate on capability development.

    The EU envisages that the process will work as follows: the EU institutions together with European governments identify Europe’s capability gaps and opportunities for joint capability development through CARD; they agree on a list of military equipment that is needed in Europe (the so-called Capability Development Plan); a group of PESCO members decides to develop an item together; and that group gets co-funding from the European Commission via the defence fund. But so far, the EU has not yet developed a plan about what to do when these member-states cannot agree on arms export rules.

    Germany’s decision in the autumn of 2018 to suspend all arms exports to Saudi Arabia indicated just how much of an obstacle arms export policy could become to joint capability development. In 2018, Berlin put a halt to the sale of already assembled items, such as patrol boats, as well as German-produced components used by other companies across Europe. The freeze held up the delivery of Meteor air-to-air missiles to Saudi Arabia.9 The missiles are produced by the European company MBDA (jointly owned by Airbus, BAE Systems and Leonardo), but the propulsion system and warheads are built in Germany. German components are also needed to maintain European products after delivery, such as the Eurofighter Typhoon planes, produced jointly by the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain. Germany’s allies criticised the unpredictability of Berlin’s arms export policy and warned that European defence companies would resort to producing ‘German-free’ goods in the future.10

    Member-states will only come together to create new military equipment, like the next European fighter jet, if they can rely upon one another for the supply of components. Without a common arms export policy, jointly-produced systems will always be vulnerable to one of the partners introducing export controls on one or more of the potential purchasers.

    How does the EU export and control arms?

    The EU’s arms export regime is fragmented, and based on three layers of law: international, EU and national. The regime is made up of several legislative instruments, which are monitored by different EU institutions. And while the EU sets out basic tenets for arms exports, licensing and regulation is determined at the national level, resulting in 28 national licensing systems and sets of rules.

    Although arms exports ultimately remain a matter of national competence, EU member-states have agreed to “high common standards” and “convergence” in managing arms transfers.11 There are two parts to this commitment. First, the European Council adopted the Common Position on Arms Export Controls in 2008, which defines common rules governing the control of exports of military technology and equipment. Second, all member-states are party to the international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which establishes the “highest possible common international standards” for the global arms trade. The ATT was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2013 and entered into force in the EU in 2014. Both the ATT and the Common Position are legally binding, and regulate exports of conventional weapons.

    The Common Position sets out eight criteria against which member-states must test export licences, including respect for human rights and international humanitarian law in the destination country.

    Saudi Arabia

    In 2015, the Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman launched a military intervention in Yemen. The Houthis, a Shiite tribal group, had taken control of the country’s capital, Sana’a, and forced the resignation of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and his government – which had been backed by the Saudis. Saudi Arabia presented the incursion as necessary to control Iranian influence on the Arabian Peninsula, exaggerating the extent of Iranian support for the Houthis.20 The Saudis formed a coalition of nine other Sunni Arab countries: the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Sudan, Egypt, Morocco and Senegal.21 The coalition wants to restore the Hadi government and provides financial and military support to the Yemeni army and proxy armed groups. The US, UK and France provide the coalition with arms, military equipment and training. The conflict has left 22 million people, three-quarters of all Yemenis, in need of humanitarian aid and protection.22


    Much like the Yemen conflict, the Syrian civil war has exposed Europe’s lack of common foreign policy, as exemplified by diverging arms export policies.

    Syria descended into civil war after President Bashar al-Assad brutally cracked down on pro-democracy protesters in April 2011. The EU responded by imposing sanctions on Syria, including an embargo on the sale of arms and military equipment to all actors (other than humanitarian workers). The embargo was fleshed out by Council regulations in 2012, which banned specific items such as telecoms interception equipment.


    Since Venezuela descended into crisis in 2010, Europe has struggled to speak with one voice. The EU’s High Representative for foreign and security policy Federica Mogherini has often been limited to making declarations when member-states could not reach a consensus on sanctions or who to designate as the country’s legitimate government.

    After months of anti-government protests, President Nicolás Maduro was re-elected in a rigged election in the autumn of 2017. The EU’s member-states spent months arguing over how to manage the unfolding crisis, with disputes over the EU’s right to intervene and encourage a change of regime. The EU was unable to reach a unanimous decision on sanctions, in part because Greece and the populist Five Star Movement within Italy’s coalition argued that sanctions interfered in Venezuela’s sovereign affairs. Only in November 2017 did the EU adopt sanctions on Venezuela and call for free and fair elections. The restrictive measures included asset freezes and travel bans on individuals, as well as an arms embargo, including on equipment that could be used for internal repression or monitoring. In an official communication, the Commission later argued that this delayed decision followed “a further substantial deterioration of the situation on the ground”.33

    Is a greater role for the EU in regulating arms exports possible?

    Europe needs more co-ordination when it comes to arms exports. Divergent arms export policies undermine Europe’s common foreign and security policy goals. Sanctions taken at the individual country level are ineffective. When Europeans act in unison, the impact of their foreign policy is multiplied, especially when their arms export policies are integrated into broader EU policies towards particular regions or conflicts.

    There are radical, and for now unrealistic, ways of bringing about a common European arms export policy. For example, to ensure that member-states adhere to the Common Position, the EU would have to introduce a mechanism to hold governments accountable for breaking the rules. Or if member-states agreed to give up some national decision-making authority over arms exports, the EU could establish a supervisory body controlled by the Commission or the High Representative to report violations of the Common Position by member-states. The Commission could refer member-states that refused to follow the rules to the ECJ.37 Such a new body would require a change to the EU fundamental treaties and therefore unanimity among EU member-states, however.

    At present, there is little appetite among member-states (including Germany) to give up decision-making power in this field. Anne-Marie Descôtes, the French ambassador to Germany, recently dismissed the idea of Europeanising arms exports as a cop-out and an attempt to pass responsibility to European institutions.38 She argued that it would be an unparalleled transfer of sovereignty and an unacceptable violation of Article 346. Her reading of the mood in Europe is accurate. But the EU’s plans to build a ‘defence union’ could open a window of opportunity for ‘more EU’ in arms export policy.


    1. Improve the Common Position
    A review of the Common Position began in 2018, and is ongoing in COARM. Reviewers are considering how to improve the wording of the Position; possible changes to the users’ guide, including an e-licensing system for military goods; and adapting the annual report into a publicly available online database to improve transparency. Any change to the Common Position will require unanimity.43


    Europe’s diverging export policies are harming the EU’s interests and credibility. Without stronger co-ordination at the EU level, Europe’s ability to protect its security is diminished, and the Union runs the risk of its member-states violating international law and being complicit in human rights abuses and other atrocities.

    A stronger, unified arms export policy is also vital for EU ambitions to develop a European defence industry. Joint European capability projects will perpetually stumble when governments run into disagreements on export rules.

    However, before a common arms policy can be agreed, EU member-states must first reach a shared analysis of any given conflict and establish what the EU’s interests are. This often proves difficult. For instance, EU member-states have different views on whether supplying weapons to Saudi Arabia will help stabilise the Gulf region, and how exports might affect European security. At the heart of the issue lies a lack of consensus on threat perception and strategic assessment. And many member-states think in terms of national efforts to protect national security, rather than considering that their national security is rarely distinct from wider EU and European security. Lucrative arms contracts for national defence industries and preserving or creating domestic jobs also generate pressure to interpret the Common Position liberally.

    A common and enforceable EU arms export regime, including a sanctions mechanism and supervisory arms control body, should be the goal. Conversations with EU officials and industry figures make it abundantly clear that this is a long way off. But the development of EU defence initiatives and the increasing role of the Commission in defence policy suggest the first tentative steps towards this end may be taking place.

    Even if an overhaul were legally possible without consensus, it would be unwise. EU member-states should attempt to reach a shared view on the security context of arms exports, improve the wording of the Common Position and agree on the format of reporting by member-states, tighten dual-use regulation and end-use controls, and reach inter-governmental export agreements. Europe’s security will benefit if the EU can keep moving towards convergence on arms export policy.

    1: The combined arms exports of European Union member-states accounted for 27 per cent of global arms exports between 2014-18.
    2: Goods that have both a military and a civilian application are known as dual-use.
    3: “It’s not as easy as saying cut off arms sales. If we don’t … sell them munitions that are precision-targeted … with our rigour and standards … the situation could get a whole lot worse”, British MP Johnny Mercer argued in defence of continued supply of arms to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, ‘Peston’s Politics’, ITV, October 25th 2018.
    4: Rolf Mützenich, deputy head of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) in the German Bundestag, ‘German ban on arms exports to Saudis spurs pushback’, Spiegel Online, March 6th 2019.
    5: Michael Brzoska, ‘Measuring the effectiveness of arms embargoes’, Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy, 2008; Clara Portela, ‘The EU’s use of ‘targeted’ sanctions: Evaluating effectiveness’, CEPS, March 2014.
    6: German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Industry, ‘Report by the government of the Federal Republic of Germany on its policy on exports of conventional military equipment in 2016’, June 2017.
    7: 90 per cent of France’s arms exports and 73 per cent of Germany’s went to non-EU buyers between 2014 and 2018, and 89 per cent of UK arms exports went outside Europe in 2017. France and Germany data from Pieter Wezeman and others, ‘Trends in International Arms Transfers’, SIPRI, 2018; UK data from UK Government, ‘UK defence and security export statistics for 2017’, March 14th 2019.
    8: Douglas Barrie and others, ‘Protecting Europe: meeting the EU’s military level of ambition in the context of Brexit’, IISS and DGAP, November 2018.
    9: Matthias Gebauer and Christoph Schult, ‘Britain accuses Berlin of lacking loyalty to allies’, Der Spiegel, February 19th 2019.
    10: Anne-Marie Descôtes, ‘Working Paper on Security Policy No. 7/2019: From “German-free” to mutual trust’, German Federal Academy for Security Policy, March 26th 2019.
    11: Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP of 8 December 2008.
    12: Sophia Besch, ‘Security of supply in EU defence: Friends in need?’, CER insight, August 17th 2016.
    13: Interview with COARM official.
    14: National Assembly, ‘Ordinary Session of 2010-2011’, 13th Legislature, 161st meeting, April 12th 2011.
    15: UN Human Rights Council, ‘Situation of human rights in Yemen, including violations and abuses since September 2014’, August 17th 2018. The findings are still subject to a determination by an independent and competent court.
    16: House of Commons Hansard, ‘Export licences: High Court judgment’, volume 662, June 20th 2019.
    17: Giovanni de Briganti, ‘Dispute over arms exports: France threatens Germany with exit from fighter jet project’, Defense-Aerospace.com, October 2018.
    18: European Commission, ‘Evaluation of Directive 2009/43/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 May 2009 simplifying terms and conditions of transfers of defence-related products within the Community’, November 2016.
    19: Interview with Ian Stewart, Senior Research Associate at War Studies Department, King’s College London, February 2019.
    20: A UN Security Council report from January 2017 concluded there was insufficient evidence to confirm large-scale supply of arms from the Iranian government to the Houthi rebels. See UN Security Council, ‘Letter from the Panel of Experts on Yemen addressed to the President of the Security Council’, S/2017/81, January 31st 2017.
    21: Qatar’s membership was suspended in 2017 following the GCC diplomatic crisis. Morocco left the coalition in February 2019 after increasing tension between Rabat and Riyadh.
    22: International Organisation for Migration, Yemen report, July 22nd 2018; Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, ‘Press release’, March 20th 2019.
    23: See Common Article 1 of the Geneva Convention; Knut Dormann and Jose Serralvo, ‘Common Article 1 to the Geneva Conventions and the obligation to prevent international humanitarian law violations’, International Committee of the Red Cross, September 21st 2015.
    24: UN Human Rights Council, ‘Situation of human rights in Yemen, including violations and abuses since September 2014’, August 17th 2018.
    25: See Marco Sassòli, ‘State responsibility for violations of international humanitarian law’, International Committee of the Red Cross, June 2002; and International Commission of Jurists, ‘Bearing the brunt of war in Yemen: International law violations and their impact on the civilian population’, July 2018.
    26: European Parliament, Resolution on the situation in Yemen, 2018/2853(RSP), October 4th 2018.
    27: Beth Oppenheim, ‘You never listen to me: The European-Saudi relationship after Khashoggi’, CER policy brief, May 2nd 2019.
    28: Beth Oppenheim, ‘UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia have been found unlawful’, Independent, June 20th 2019.
    29: UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, ‘Foreign secretary statement to parliament on Syria’, May 20th 2013.
    30: UN Human Rights Council, ‘Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic’, June 4th 2013.
    31: Due to a lack of detail in the EU’s annual report, it is not possible to see precisely how many licences. These descriptions are those cited in ‘Brief descriptions of EU Common Military List categories’, ‘Annual report on the European Union Code of Conduct on Arms Exports’, the Official Journal of the European Union, 2014.
    32: Annual reports on the European Union Code of Conduct on Arms Exports, the Official Journal of the European Union, 2012-2014.
    33: European Commission, ‘Communication from the Commission to the European Council, the European Parliament and the Council: A stronger global actor: A more efficient decision-making for EU Common Foreign and Security Policy’, September 12th 2018.
    34: The exporting European member-states were Austria, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and Sweden, see SIPRI’s trend-indicator value (TIV) tables, 1999-2016.
    35: Value of licensed goods, ‘Annual report on the European Union Code of Conduct on Arms Exports’, Official Journal of the European Union, 2009.
    36: Martin Arostegui, ‘Critics: Spain’s tank, arms deals with Venezuela prop up Nicolas Maduro’, The Washington Post, January 21st 2019.
    37: Bodil Valero, ‘The change we need in EU arms export control’, Friends of Europe, May 14th 2018.
    38: Anne-Marie Descôtes, ‘Working Paper on Security Policy No. 7/2019: From “German-free” to mutual trust’, German Federal Academy for Security Policy, March 26th 2019.
    39: ‘Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Defence Fund’, COM/2018/0254, June 13th 2018..
    40: The European Economic Area includes EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
    41: Alexandra Brzozowski, ‘EU lawmakers rubber-stamp European Defence Fund, give up parliamentary veto’, Euractiv, April 18th, 2019.
    42: Daniel Fiott, ‘European defence-industrial co-operation: From Keynes to Clausewitz’, Global Affairs, 2015.
    43: Anne-Marie Descôtes, ‘Working Paper on Security Policy No. 7/2019: From “German-free” to mutual trust’, German Federal Academy for Security Policy, March 26th 2019.
    44: European Parliament Policy Department, ‘The further development of the Common Position 944/2008/CFSP on arms exports control’, July 2018.
    45: German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Industry, ‘Report by the government of the Federal Republic of Germany on its policy on exports of conventional military equipment in 2016’, June 2017.
    46: ‘Weapons of the Islamic State’, Conflict Armament Research, December 2017.
    47: Lawrence Marzouk, Ivan Angelovski and Miranda Patrucic, ‘Making a killing: The €1.2 billion arms pipeline to Middle East’, Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), July 27th 2016.
    48: Patrick Wilcken, Amnesty International, cited in Lawrence Marzouk and others, OCCRP, July 27th 2016.
    49: German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Industry, ‘A restrictive, responsible policy on the export of military equipment’, accessed April 17th 2019.
    50: German Federal Ministry for Business and Energy, ‘Short question by MPs Sevim Dagdelen, Heike Hänsel, Matthias Höhn, and the Die Linke party concerning: “carrying out post-shipment controls on arms exports to third countries”’, September 2018.
    51: House of Commons Quadripartite Select Committee, ‘UK arms exports during 2016’, ‘The licencing regime’, July 18th 2018.
    52: This list would go beyond the international ‘Wassenaar list’, compiled under the Wassenaar Arrangement (1996), a voluntary multilateral export control regime with 42 participating states. The list is divided into dual-use and conventional items.
    53: In January 2018, a working paper of objections to the proposal was put forward by 11 member-states, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain. See Council of the European Union, ‘Working Paper: EU Export Control – Recast of Regulation 428/2009’, WK 1019/2018 INIT, January 29th 2018. In May 2018, a further working paper was put forward by a different, overlapping, group of nine member-states, including the UK. See Council of the European Union, ‘Working Paper: For adoption of an improved EU export control regulation 428/2009’, WK 5755/2018 INIT, May 15th 2018.
    54: Mark Bromley and Giovanna Maletta, ‘The Challenge of Software and Technology Transfers to Non-Proliferation Efforts: Implementing and Complying with Export Controls’, SIPRI, April 2018.
    55: Mark Bromley, ‘Export controls, human security and cyber-surveillance technology: Examining the proposed changes to the EU dual-use regulation’, SIPRI, December 2017.
    56: Thomas Wiegold, ‘German-French arms export plans – veto only in exceptional cases’, Augen Ggeradeaus!, February 22nd 2019.
    Sophia Besch , Beth Oppenheim
    10 September 2019
    EU arms embargo on Russia will make little impact if France can still sell Putin warships (2014)

    The Council of the EU is currently struggling over whether to impose an arms embargo on Russia as punishment for its role in destabilising Ukraine. Several governments in the EU, including the UK, have already announced that they are denying arms export licences for Russia and revoking those that have previously been granted.

    Also in place is a Council Common Position that governs exports of military technology and equipment. This already obliges EU member states to deny arms export licences if there are concerns about the recipient’s respect for international humanitarian and human rights law or non-proliferation – or if they are involved in internal, regional or international conflict and tensions.

    Arms embargoes are a vital part of the EU’s “smart sanctions” toolbox, with 22 currently in force. They have no negative humanitarian impact and are usually deployed to restrict arms flows and change target behaviour, and send political signals. The targets of EU arms embargoes tend not to be significant importers of EU-produced arms.

    Russia plans to spend more than $700 billion on military equipment in the decade to 2020, and its domestic arms industry will be the main beneficiary of these plans. However, under former Russian defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov (2007-2012), licensed production agreements were struck with EU arms producers for armoured vehicles, helicopters and small arms, as well as parts and components for Russian systems.

    This means Russia’s garguantuan €1.1 billion order for two Mistral amphibious assault ships from France is on a very different scale from other deals. It dwarfs Rheinmetall’s €120m contract to build a military training centre in Mulino, a deal suspended earlier in 2014 in response to the Crimean crisis.

    Opening the books

    EU member states are among the most open in the world when it comes to providing information on arms exports; they annually report on their deliveries of major conventional weapons to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms. That register reveals that during 2008-2012, most of the EU’s arms exports to Russia were destined for a museum or destruction.

    EU member states are also obliged to provide annual data on the value of all arms export licences issued and deliveries made, broken down by destination and categories of military equipment. This data is presented in a publicly-available EU annual report on arms exports.

    But while all states provide information on licences issued, major exporters such as Germany and the UK do not provide information on their deliveries.

    Here’s what we do know: during 2008-2012, EU member states issued export licences worth €925m for Russia, representing just 0.5% of the total value of all export licences issued. France accounted for more than a third of this value, issuing licenses worth €382.5m during this period and delivering €131m worth of military equipment.

    Most EU member states provide information in annual reports that appear before the publication of the EU annual report. For its part, the UK has an online database that provides additional information, including descriptions of the items. In addition, the UK’s active and inquisitive parliamentary Committees on Arms Export Controls (CAEC), provide oversight of these decisions. They have been closely scrutinising the UK’s exports to Russia of late.

    For example, on July 23 2013, the CAEC’s Sir John Stanley asked the UK’s prime minister and foreign minister to confirm whether the UK has suspended all 285 licences issued for exports of military equipment and dual-use items for Russia, in line with a government statement made in the spring.

    Embargo could damage EU

    Russia is a limited market for complete weapons systems produced in the EU. Since the dismissal of Serdyukov, Vladimir Putin has spoken of greater arms production cooperation among the BRICS, not with the EU. Dmitriy Rogozin, the deputy prime minister, has already made it clear that he regards an EU arms embargo as having a greater impact on France than Russia.

    A leaked European Commission sanctions memo indicates that an EU arms embargo might exempt contracts already concluded with Russia – in particular the French Mistral deal. That would mean France could deliver the first Mistral to Russia this year, in accordance with its contractual obligations. That the deal was authorised in the aftermath of Russia’s 2008 war with Georgia showed the depth of EU divisions over Russia.

    Allowing France to complete such a vast arms deal at this deeply sensitive time will reinforce the view that EU arms embargoes are tokenistic measures, staged to give the impression of “doing something” – as long as it does not significantly damage the interests of the EU’s largest members.

    From guns to warships: Inside Europe’s arms trade with Russia (2014)
    The West has slapped stringent sanctions on Russia in response to the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, believed by the U.S. and others to have been shot down with a Russia-supplied Buk missile system by eastern Ukraine rebels.
    While the introduction of financial sanctions will create the most immediate squeeze on Russia, it is the crack-down on the arms trade which has triggered debate. Future imports and exports between the EU and Russia are now banned — but existing contracts, including France’s $1.6 billion Mistral-class warships deal, are allowed to go ahead.
    But Russia is one of the few countries in the world that is nearly self-sufficient in its defense production, according to IHS Jane’s expert Guy Anderson. So will the arms embargo have an impact?
    Here is a cheat-sheet on Europe’s arms trade with Russia.
    How big is the arms trade between Europe and Russia?
    European Union countries earned $583 million from weapons exports to Russia in 2013, the bulk of which was part-payment of the Mistral deal, according to analysis from IHS Jane’s.
    Russia is, by comparison, the world’s second largest military exporter after the U.S., earning $13.2 billion from arms exports last year. Its biggest customers are India and China, countries which have not joined the sanctions against Russia.
    The industry is heavily regulated and EU figures track the bloc’s arms trade by licenses approved. In total, European Union countries granted 922 licenses to sell $259 million worth of weapons to Russia in 2012, according to the latest statistics available.
    However, according to Anderson, the licenses — which in the UK, for example, expire after two years — are more an “expression of intent” than indication of likely sales.
    The trade with Russia compares to $4.3 billion worth of weapons the EU licensed arms companies to sell to the U.S.
    What are the biggest deals?
    While Russia is a significant player in the supply of arms, it has also leaned on Europe for some big deals.
    The biggest — and now most controversial — is the Mistral contract of 2011, signed by France’s previous government. The warships are powerful vessels equipped with six helicopter landing zones. Each of them can carry up to 16 heavy helicopters and around 500 marines.
    The first of the two carriers due to be delivered is now completing sea trials, and 400 Russian troops are currently training on it in the French port of Saint-Nazaire.
    David Prater, of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), said they were Russia’s first “serious” weapon supplied by Europe.
    Russia’s other significant deals include its purchase of two German engines for missile boats in 2001, and four light transport aircraft from the Czech Republic in 2012, according to the SIPRI databases.
    Details on the contracts are scarce but the Czech planes were reported to be worth around $3.2 million each. Russia also bought 60 army vehicles, reportedly worth estimated $24 million, from Italy in 2011.
    According to the SIPRI, Russia has also agreed to buy at least eight drones from Israel in 2009, worth a reported $50 million.
    Russia was also importing arms and military equipment from Ukraine, but the Russian Defense Ministry was reported saying it would phase this out within two years.
    “Ironically, the loss of Ukraine as a supplier to Russia is far more significant that the loss of Europeans,” Anderson said. “A lot of subcontracted work for Russia’s industrial base took place in Ukraine.”
    Russian President Vladimir Putin’s office did not respond to a request for comment on the deals and impact of sanctions.
    Why is the Mistral deal so politically hot?
    The Mistral warships — which experts say are “very capable weapons of mobile war” — have landed France in a politically awkward spot.
    French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius last week argued the country is contractually obligated to deliver the ships — but his comments were made as European relations with Russia deteriorated.
    UK Prime Minister David Cameron declared the deal’s completion “unthinkable” before being slapped back by Fabius, who echoed the phrase in reference to the UK’s involvement in the 2003 Iraq invasion.
    The Mistral deal keeps some 1,000 Frenchmen and women employed in a country with a 10% unemployment rate — and reversing it would be costly.
    However, French President Francois Hollande has thrown doubt on delivery of the second ship, saying last week it “depends on Russia’s attitude.”
    What happens next?
    European leaders are trying to hit Russia where it hurts with the latest round of sanctions.
    As of Thursday, Russia state-owned banks will be restricted from accessing European capital markets and exports of oil-related equipment and technology to Russia will be slowed or stopped by red tape.
    All new contracts for arms imports and exports between the EU and Russia will stop, and there will be a prohibition on exporting goods and technology that can be used for both military and civilian purposes.
    But in the short-term, the arms ban is unlikely to have a significant impact on Russia’s military might. “The embargo in itself doesn’t change anything in Russian military capabilities right now,” Siemon Wezeman, senior researcher with SIPRI said.
    In the long term, he said, Russia could feel pain from losing access to the latest high-tech defense electronic systems developed in the EU.
    Allegations of secret Colombian plan to undermine EU (2010)

    A group of MEPs is calling for action as further details of an alleged covert operation conducted by the Colombian intelligence agency (DAS) continue to emerge, with one of its reported aims being to undermine the authority of the European Parliament.
    Recently released documents that were confiscated from the DAS by the Colombian Attorney General’s office highlight the nature of “Operation Europe.”

    The alleged action in Europe includes phone tapping and the interception of emails (Photo: Flickr.com)
    Its objective was to “neutralise the influence of the European judicial system, the European Parliament’s human rights sub-committee, and the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,” reads one text seen by this website.

    Following lines suggest the process of discrediting these institutions should be carried out by waging a “legal war.”

    News of the Colombian agency’s activities targeting national and international human rights defenders, NGOs and democratic organisations, of which ‘Operation Europe’ was only one part, first broke in the Colombian media in early 2009.

    As the scandal grew, former right-wing President Alvaro Uribe finally moved to stem the criticism by introducing legislation late last year to overhaul the controversial agency, although it has yet to be approved by the country’s legislature.

    But a group of MEPs, primarily from the European Parliament’s Green group, are not satisfied, fearing that the reported campaign of close surveillance and threat-making against Bogota’s critics may simply continue under a different guise.

    Their concerns are backed up by the Colombian Commission of Jurists, among others, a group of legal activists that says the law does not “establish adequate, effective and independent oversight of intelligence activities.”

    Green MEP Ulrike Lunacek is one of those to have put questions to the European Commission and Council of Ministers, but said the answers she received were “not satisfactory.”

    In responding to the queries last month, the commission said it was “well aware of the reports relating to alleged illegal spying by the DAS” and has raised the matter with the Colombian authorities on several occasions.

    The EU executive body added that it has faith in the current investigation being carried out by the Colombian Prosecutor General’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office and has been informed of the draft law to liquidate the DAS and set up a new agency.

    Others want more, however.

    “There should be a full police and judicial investigation of the alleged crimes,” said centre-left MEP Richard Howitt. “All of us at member-state level and within the European institutions should take full responsibility for making sure such investigations are conducted.”

    Hopes for the Belgian Presidency

    Unhappy with the current level of action, Ms Lunacek says she has greater hopes for the next six months, with Spain set to hand over the reins of the EU’s rotating presidency on 1 July.

    “The Spanish government is very in favour of the free trade agreement with Colombia [initialed in May], and they don’t want anything to jeopardise that,” the Austrian deputy told EUobserver. “But then the Belgians will take over the presidency and they have citizens that have been proven to have suffered phone tapping by the DAS.”

    One of those Belgian citizens who claims to have been a victim of DAS activities is Paul-Emile Dupret, a political advisor to the European Parliament’s left-wing United European Left (GUE) group.

    “My name is mentioned on the DAS file several times,” he says, believing it to be partially the result of his involvement in the organisation of an anti-Uribe protest in 2004 when the ex-President visited the European Parliament.

    Several months after the protest, Mr Dupret was arrested upon landing in the United States. “I was interrogated when I arrived, put in prison for 24 hours, asked dozens of questions about by views on Colombia,” he says. “Since then I have been prevented from returning to the US. They now consider me a terrorist.”

    The close ties between Washington and Bogota are well known.

    The Belgian citizen is currently working with a group of other victims and a team of lawyers, and plans to present their collective case against the Colombian agency in the Belgian courts this July, the first European citizens to do so.

    Certain European NGOs also claim to have been the target of a concerted campaign to discredit their activities and tarnish their reputations. Amongst them is the Belgian faith-based NGO Broederlijk Delen, whose representative Patricia Verbauwhede attended a press conference in parliament this week.

    “The EU needs to make a statement on the DAS,” she said. “We request an investigation of the DAS on European soil and we feel the EU should not conclude its free trade agreement with Colombia.”

    So far the sought-after strong statements and investigations have not been forthcoming.

    BRUSSELS, 25. JUN 2010, 09:28
    Find this story at 25 June 2010

    Copyright https://euobserver.com/

    Uzbekistan: US and Europe turning a blind eye to torture

    The USA, Germany, and other European Union countries’ continuing ‘blind-spot’ to endemic torture in Uzbekistan ensures that appalling abuses will continue unabated, said Amnesty International in a new report published today.

    The report, Secrets and Lies: Forced confessions under torture in Uzbekistan, reveals how rampant torture and other ill-treatment plays a “central role” in the country’s justice system and the government’s clampdown on any group perceived as a threat to national security. It warns that police and security forces frequently use torture to extract confessions, to intimidate entire families or as a threat to extract bribes.

    “It’s an open secret that anyone who falls out of favour with the authorities can be detained and tortured in Uzbekistan. No one can escape the tendrils of the state,” said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Europe and Central Asia Director, launching the report in Berlin.

    “What is shameful is that many governments, including the USA, are turning a blind eye to appalling torture, seemingly for fear of upsetting an ally in the ‘war on terror’. Other governments, like Germany, appear to be more concerned with business opportunities and not rocking the boat.”

    “Strategic Patience” a shameful strategy in the face of human rights violations

    As the 10th anniversary of the May 2005 Andizhan mass killings of hundreds of protestors approaches, Amnesty International’s report highlights how the USA and EU governments, including Germany, have put security, political, military and economic interests ahead of any meaningful action to pressure the Uzbekistani authorities to fully respect human rights and stop torture by its authorities.

    European sanctions imposed on Uzbekistan after the 2005 mass killings in Andizhan were lifted in 2008 and 2009, revoking travel bans and allowing arms sales to resume despite no one being held to account for the killings. The last time EU foreign ministers even put Uzbekistan’s human rights record on the agenda was in October 2010.

    Germany in particular has close military ties with Uzbekistan. In November 2014 it renewed a lease for an airbase in Termez to provide support to German troops in Afghanistan. On 2 March 2015, Germany and Uzbekistan agreed a €2.8 billion investment and trade package.

    The attitude of Uzbekistan’s international partners to the routine use of torture appears at best ambivalent, and at worst silent to the point of complicity. The USA describes its engagement with Uzbekistan as a policy of “strategic patience”, but it is perhaps better described as strategic indulgence. The USA, Germany, and the EU should immediately demand that Uzbekistan clean up its act and stop torture.
    John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Director, Amnesty International
    In January 2012, the US government waived restrictions on military aid to Uzbekistan originally imposed in 2004, due in part to the country’s human rights record. This year the military relationship between the two countries strengthened significantly with the implementation of a new five-year plan for military cooperation.

    In December 2014, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Central Asia, Nisha Biswal, said Washington exercised “strategic patience” in relations with Uzbekistan.

    “The attitude of Uzbekistan’s international partners to the routine use of torture appears at best ambivalent, and at worst silent to the point of complicity. The USA describes its engagement with Uzbekistan as a policy of “strategic patience”, but it is perhaps better described as strategic indulgence. The USA, Germany, and the EU should immediately demand that Uzbekistan clean up its act and stop torture,” said John Dalhuisen.

    “The international ban on torture is absolute and immediate. Yet while Germany and the USA foster closer ties with Uzbekistan, people are being snatched up by police, tortured into confessing to trumped-up charges, and subjected to unfair trials. As long as Uzbekistan uses torture-tainted evidence in court, it will remain a torture-tainted ally.”

    Torture endemic in Uzbekistan’s criminal justice system
    Amnesty International’s report is compiled from more than 60 interviews conducted between 2013-2015 and evidence gathered over 23 years. It lifts the lid on the use of sound-proof torture cells with padded walls used by the secret police, the Uzbekistani National Security Service (SNB), and documents the continued use of underground torture cells in police stations.

    The police and secret police use horrific techniques, including asphyxiation, rape, electric shocks, exposure to extreme heat and cold, and deprivation of sleep, food and water. The report also documents elaborate, prolonged beatings delivered by groups of people, including other prisoners.

    One man, who was never told the reason for his arrest, described what happened after he was taken to the basement of a police station in the early hours of the morning:

    “I was in handcuffs with my hands behind my back … There were two police officers beating me, kicking me, using batons, I lost consciousness. They beat me everywhere, on my head, kidneys… When I lost consciousness they would throw water on me to wake me up and beat me again.”

    Security forces targeting entire families
    The report documents widespread use of torture and other ill-treatment, with victims including government critics, religious groups, migrant workers and business people. The authorities sometimes also target victims’ extended families.

    Zuhra, a former detainee, told Amnesty International how security forces targeted her entire family, most of whom remain in detention today. She was regularly called to report to the local police station, where she was detained and beaten to punish her for being a member of an “extremist family” and force her to reveal the whereabouts of male relatives, or to incriminate them. She said:

    “There is no peace in our house. We wake up in the morning and if there is a car in front of our door, our hearts beat faster… There are no men left in our house. There are not even any grandchildren left.”

    Arbitrary brutality in an unaccountable justice system
    New testimony received by Amnesty International exposes the institutionalized use of torture and other ill-treatment to elicit confessions and incriminating evidence about other suspects.

    People are often tried using evidence extracted from torture. Judges extort bribes for lenient sentencing and the police and secret police use the threat of torture to demand huge bribes from detainees and prisoners.

    Turkish businessman, Vahit Güneş, was accused of economic crimes including tax evasion and connection to a banned Islamic movement, charges which he denies. He was held for 10 months in secret police detention, where he says he was tortured until he signed a false confession. He was tortured again when the secret police wanted to extort several million US dollars from his family in exchange for his release.

    The response he received when he asked for a lawyer illustrates the unfair and arbitrary nature of Uzbekistan’s justice system:

    “One of the prosecutors said: ‘Vahit Güneş pull yourself together. In the whole history of the SNB no one has been brought here and found innocent and released. Everyone who is brought here is found guilty. They have to plead guilty.’”

    Vahit Güneş described the dehumanizing conditions, psychological intimidation, beatings and sexual humiliation of detention:

    “You are not a human being anymore. They give you a number there. Your name is not valid there anymore. For instance my number was 79. I was not Vahit Güneş there anymore, I was 79. You are not a human being. You have become a number.”

    “You are not a human being anymore. They give you a number there. Your name is not valid there anymore. For instance my number was 79. I was not Vahit Güneş there anymore, I was 79. You are not a human being. You have become a number.”
    Vahit Güneş, torture survivor
    Torture continues unabated and unpunished since 1992
    Although torture is against the law in Uzbekistan, it is rarely punished. Even the government’s own figures show the scale of impunity for torture, with only 11 police officers convicted under Uzbekistani law from 2010-2013.

    During this time 336 complaints of torture were officially registered, of which just 23 cases were prosecuted and six taken to trial. To make matters worse, the authorities charged with investigating those complaints are often the same ones accused of torture, severely limiting the likelihood that victims will ever receive justice and reparations.

    Amnesty International is calling on President Islam Karimov to publically condemn the use of torture. The authorities should also establish an independent system for inspections of all detention centres and ensure that confessions and other evidence obtained by torture or other ill-treatment are never used in court.

    This report is the fourth in a series of five different country reports, after Mexico, Nigeria and the Philippines, to be released as part of Amnesty International’s global Stop Torture campaign, launched by Amnesty International in May 2014. In the past five years alone, Amnesty International has reported on torture and other ill-treatment in 141 countries.

    15 April 2015, 11:00 UTC

    Find this story at 15 April 2015
    Find the report here

    Copyright Amnesty International

    US and EU Accused of Turning a Blind Eye to ‘Rampant Torture’ in Uzbekistan

    Four men broke into Yusuf’s apartment in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent in July 2009 and started beating him, before putting him in handcuffs and taking him to the local police station. Yusuf says this was not the first time he was attacked and detained, but on this occasion he was questioned by officers for three days, who took a long baton to his head and used a plastic bag to suffocate him.

    He refused to sign a confession saying that he’d plotted to overthrow Uzbekistan’s constitutional order, but was ultimately convicted in court on drug charges and slapped with a fine.

    Yusuf’s story of torture and abuse at the hands of Uzbek authorities is just one of 60 testimonies compiled in a damning report out on Wednesday from Amnesty International alleging that “rampant torture” is an integral part of the justice system in the Central Asian country.

    The organization slammed the US and European Union (EU), claiming they are turning a blind eye to “endemic torture” in Uzbekistan — pinning this ambivalence on the country’s role as an ally in the War on Terror.

    “Uzbekistani people are routinely and systematically tortured there, it’s a regime that uses torture flat out, straight up, with no nuance,” Julia Hall, Amnesty’s expert on counter-terrorism and human rights, who led the two year investigation, told VICE News.

    Related: The toxic Uzbek town and its museum of banned Soviet art. Read more here.

    Beatings, asphyxiation, needles inserted under finger or toenails, electric shocks, and rape are some of the torture techniques allegedly employed by President Islam Karimov’s regime that were highlighted by the human rights organization. The head of state has been in power since 1990, months before the country — which shares its southern border with Afghanistan — declared its independence from the Soviet Union.

    Authorities also reportedly use various psychological approaches, including intimidating detainees awaiting charges in detention centers with dogs. A letter given to Amnesty last year describes one inmate’s torture experience after being beaten in his kidneys, legs, and face.

    “I was in such pain, I was cold and naked, I thought I would not survive. On the third day, when I asked one of the officers to give me something to drink, he marched me from the basement [to the courtyard], tied me to a dog kennel, pointed to the dog’s feeding bowl and said: ‘If you want to eat and drink, help yourself,'” the letter reads. “He left me tied to the kennel. I stand, next to me sits a hound and every time I move it starts barking, so that I don’t dare move.”

    Uzbekistan has long been criticized for its human rights abuses, with Human Rights Watch calling the country’s record “atrocious.” Hall told VICE News that anyone who criticizes the government becomes a target. Free speech is heavily curtailed, with activists and journalists often caught in up in the mix. Muhammad Bekzhanov, the editor-in-chief of an opposition party newspaper, has been in prison since 1999, making him one of the longest-imprisoned journalists globally.

    While accusations against Karimov’s regime are nothing new, Hall said that the boost to global anti-terrorism efforts has given it a new feel. According to her, human rights abuses and the crackdown on people in Uzbekistan has been severe in the past few years, as Muslims and others have been labeled terrorists and subsequently targeted.

    Related: Reporters without borders unblocks censored news sites. Read more here.

    “It was kind of under a new frame after 9/11, governments like Uzbekistan in Central Asia, and governments all over the world could invoke national security at rogue under the veil of terrorism,” Hall added. “Other governments saw Uzbekistan as an ally in the War on Terror, and were less inclined to criticize the Uzbek government for human rights violations.”

    In the last decade, a series of countries around the world have lifted a series of sanctions against the regime. After the 2005 Andijan Massacre — during which authorities killed hundreds of protesters — the EU imposed sanctions on Uzbekistan, including bans on arms sales and travel. These measures, however, were pulled in 2008 and 2009.

    A 2004 US ban on military aid was revoked in 2012. Up until 2005 the US maintained a base near the country’s border with Afghanistan. The Tashkent regime pulled the plug in 2005, but allows the government to move goods for humanitarian purposes through Uzbekistan.

    The US State Department qualifies Uzbekistan as an authoritarian state, outlining human rights problems in a 2013 report, listing issues including torture, harassment of religious minorities, and denial of due process or a fair trial. The report also highlights violence against women, prolonged detentions, and life-threatening prison conditions.

    According to Hall, foreign governments have been cautious in their approach to Uzbekistan, in what she said is an attempt to keep the country on their side, especially as it will be a key ally as the war in Afghanistan appears to come to a close.

    At the same time, Uzbekistan has cracked down in the face of the Islamic State’s violent campaign in Iraq and Syria. While no official estimates exist for the number of Uzbek fighters in the group’s self-declared caliphate, the government — along with others in Central Asia — recently raised concerns about the threat of the group entering the country. Plus, as Hall notes, the country’s citizens have a history of traveling to foreign wars, like in the case of Bosnia and Chechnya.

    “It’s not a new phenomenon, but the rise of the Islamic State is a new threat,” she explained. “[But] we weren’t really looking at armed groups trying to establish a caliph, so you’re looking at something quite different in ISIS. The threat is real but there is no threat that can ever justify torture.”

    Moving forward, Amnesty is asking Karimov to condemn the use of torture. The rights group is also asking the US and EU member countries to bring human rights and torture into discussions with officials. Hill noted that the United Nations is also in the country.

    “We have asked them to make sure in every meeting they have with Uzbek authorities that human rights are on the table, we’re not even sure human rights are on the agenda,” She said. “They cannot go into total isolation, they are part of international community, but the reality is there is no pressure to clean up.”

    By Kayla Ruble
    April 16, 2015 | 2:05 pm

    Find this story at 16 April 2015

    Copyright https://news.vice.com/

    New information on undercover policing networks obtained by German parliamentary deputies

    New information on the 2014 activities of European police cooperation groups and networks has been published by the German government (pdf), in response to questions from Die Linke parliamentary deputies. The answers include information on the work of Europe’s secretive undercover policing coordination networks. However, the government claims – as it has done in the past – that many of the questions cannot be answered publicly, due to the need for confidentiality.
    The questions concern a number of groups and networks, including:

    The European Cooperation Group on Undercover Activities (ECG);
    The International Working Group on Police Undercover Activities (IWG);
    The Cross-Border Surveillance Working Group (CSW);
    The International Specialist Law Enforcement (ISLE) project;
    Europol’s ‘Focal Point Dolphin’.
    European Cooperation Group on Undercover Activities (ECG)

    The ECG was established in 2001 and deals with: “The promotion of international cooperation by law enforcement agencies at the European level with respect to the deployment of undercover investigators to combat organised crime.” [1]

    However, the German government has previously referred to “politically motivated” crime as one of the “main issues” looked at by the group, [2] and has admitted that the work of the exposed police spy Mark Kennedy has been discussed at its meetings.

    The extent to which the ECG is involved in coordinating or directing police infilitration of protest movements across Europe is unknown, although a number of the British undercover police exposed in recent years are known to have travelled abroad frequently. German officers have also been sent abroad on a number of occasions. [3] Attempts by a number of women to obtain justice after being deceived into spending years in relationships with undercover police officers are ongoing. [4]

    According to the German government, the ECG met in Bucharest from 20 to 23 May, and the group’s third workshop on “Undercover on the Internet” was held in Marburg from 6 to 9 October.

    The list of attendees is lengthy. At the main ECG meeting, there were representatives present from 22 EU Member States:

    Austria (Federal Criminal Police Office, Vienna)
    Belgium (Federal Police)
    Bulgaria (Government Agency for National Security)
    Croatia (Criminal Police Directorate)
    Czech Republic (Czech National Police)
    Denmark (Danish National Police)
    Estonia (Central Criminal Police)
    Finland (National Bureau of Investigation)
    France (Central Directorate of Criminal Investigation Department)
    Germany (Federal Criminal Police Office, Central Office of the German Customs Investigation Service)
    Hungary (Hungarian National Police and Hungarian Customs)
    Italy (Carabinieri)
    Latvia (Criminal Police Department)
    Lithuania (Criminal Police Bureau)
    Netherlands (National Police Agency)
    Poland (Polish National Police)
    Portugal (Policia Judiciária)
    Romania (Romanian National Police)
    Slovakia (Slovakian National Police)
    Slovenia (General Police Directorate)
    Spain (Spanish National Police)
    United Kingdom (National Crime Agency and Metropolitan Police)
    And six non-EU states:

    Albania (Central Criminal Police)
    Macedonia (Office of Public Security)
    Norway (Oslo Police Department)
    Russia (Federal Drugs Control Service)
    Switzerland (Federal Criminal Police)
    Turkey (National Police)
    At the October workshop the same organisations were present from Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Slovenia and the UK. Also present were representatives of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

    The content of the agendas has not been published by the German government. Its justification for the secrecy was lengthy:

    “The meetings dealt inter alia with tactical and operational measures in the context of undercover police investigations, for instance on the Internet. In addition to this, joint training measures in a particular area were discussed…

    “The said undercover measures are only used in areas of criminal activity in which a particularly high level of conspiracy, danger to the public and willingness to employ violence must be assumed.

    “…making public specific contents of discussions of certain operational resources conducted with foreign police authorities, as discussed in the meeting in question, would gravely undermine the trust and confidence of the international cooperation partners in the integrity of German police work and render significantly more difficult continued cooperation in the area of undercover policing.”

    The same justification was referred to in response to a wide number of other questions put forward by Hunko and his colleagues, and similar statements have been previously been put forward by the government in response to parliamentary questions on policing issues.

    International Working Group on Police Undercover Activities (IWG)

    The IWG was established in 1989 and its purpose has previously been described as “international exchange of experience on all matters related to the covert deployment of police officers.” 2014 saw the 45th meeting of the group, which took place from 21 to 24 October in Warsaw. Poland organised the meeting itself, but Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office prepared the invitations and agenda “in close consultation with the Member States.”

    The same organisations from the list above were present to represent Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Slovenia, and the UK. Also present were representatives from the Australian Federal Police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Swedish National Bureau of Investigation, and the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    The IWG also has an International Business Secretariat (IBS), which has been the subject of previous parliamentary questions from Hunko and his colleagues.

    In 2014, the IBS held a meeting from 10 to 13 June in Oslo, with Norway organising the meeting and the UK preparing the invitations and agenda.

    Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office presented an agenda item on “biometrics” to the other delegations, who came from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

    Cross-Border Surveillance Working Group (CSW)

    The CSW was first convened in 2005. It appears to have been busier during 2014 than some of the other networks asked about by Die Linke deputies – a meeting of the CSW itself was held in Rome from 7 to 9 May, the steering group met on the 16 and 17 October in The Hague, and The Hague also played host to the ‘Assembly of Regional Groups on Surveillance’ (ARGOS), which was attended by CSW representatives. Italy organised the meeting in Rome, while the ARGOS conference was organised by Europol.

    The purpose of the meetings was “to enable the various mobile special mission units to exchange experiences and, building on this, the optimisation of cooperation during cross-border surveillance operations.”

    In response to questions about the CSW, the German made statements on the content of the agendas. The May meeting saw discussions on:

    The organisation of Italy’s R.O.S. Carabinieri force “and a case study of an abduction case”
    “Current status and outlook for the European Tracking System (ETS) and European Law”
    The European Network of Law Enforcement Technology Services (ENLETS)
    “Presentation of the legal situation in Belgium and other Member States”
    “Use of different licence plates in the respective Member States”
    “Presentation of criminal activities and means of detection”
    “Police measures”
    “Air-based surveillance in the United Kingdom”
    “Challenges and opportunities arising from the use of technology in the fight against crime”
    “Legislative amendments and presentation of the organisation and deployment possibilities of the French police force”
    “Presentation of the different legal foundation and use of resources for the interception of private conversations in the participating countries”
    “Overview and presentation of an EU Framework Programme”
    The agenda for the ARGOS conference in November included:

    A presentation on the CSW
    “Presentation of a case study on cooperation in the field of surveillance (SENSEE)”
    The European Tracking System and European Law
    “Presentation of the Europol Liaison Officers ‘Working Group on Controlled Delivery'”
    “Presentation of the possible impacts of the European Investigation Order on cross-border surveillance” (the European Investigation Order was adopted in March 2014 and includes rules on cross-border covert investigations. [5])
    “Advantages of cross-departmental surveillance and administration”
    However, less detail was provided about the attendees, with the German government’s response stating:

    “The CSW meeting was attended by representatives of the mobile special mission units or comparable units from Belgium, Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Denmark, Austria, Italy, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Sweden, Norway and Germany (Federal Criminal Police Office). A representative of Europol also attended. The steering group meeting was attended by representatives from Germany (Federal Criminal Police Office), the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands and Europol. Representatives of 37 states attended the ARGOS conference.”

    International Specialist Law Enforcement

    As the IWG was meeting in Warsaw, organisations involved in the International Specialist Law Enforcement (ISLE) project were meeting in Rome, from 20 to 22 October. International Specialist Law Enforcement began life as an EU-funded project run by Belgium, Germany and the UK that sought to build “a network of [EU] Member State organisations that may develop coordination, cooperation and mutual understanding amongst law enforcement agencies using ‘specialist techniques’.” [6]

    Although it appeared in mid-2013 that the project might have been discontinued, [7] the German government’s answers show otherwise.

    The meeting was prepared, and the agenda drafted, by the German Federal Criminal Police Office and Europol. Including Germany, “members of mobile special mission units from 16 other EU Member States attended the ISLE meeting”.

    According to the German government, “the agenda included the following points”:

    “Future development of international cooperation in ISLE”
    “Discussion on the possibilities provided by the Europol Platform for Experts (EPE)”
    Workshops on using the EPE
    Expert Meeting Against Right Wing Extremism (EMRE)

    A meeting of the EU-funded EMRE project was held in Bonn, Germany, from 19 to 22 May, and was prepared by Germany’s BKA in cooperation with the Czech Republic and Hungary. Representatives from 25 EU Member States and Switzerland attended the event, which “centred around exchanging information on right-wing extremist and right-wing terrorist structures, right-wing events and Internet activities and their impact on the security situation in all European countries.”

    On the agenda was:

    “[A] lead-in presentation and presentations on the ‘Counter Terrorism Centre’ service unit in Hungary, a set of investigation files by the Czech Republic, the Joint Centre for Countering Right-Wing Extremism (Gemeinsames Abwehrzentrum Rechtsextremismus, GAR) by the Federal Criminal Police Office and the government exit programme for people seeking to leave the right-wing extremist scene in North Rhine-Westphalia.”

    The interest of the German authorities in addressing right-wing extremism is notable, given the well-documented failure to deal with a series of racist murders carried out by the neo-Nazi National Socialist Underground between 2000 and 2007. [8]

    Focal Point Dolphin and Europol’s data systems

    Europol’s Focal Point Dolphin is part of the agency’s ‘Analysis Work File’ on counter-terrorism, although it also contains information on political activism. [9]

    Two meetings were held during 2014 in relation to Dolphin, both at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague: one of the “target group BAZAAR” on 15 April, dealing with the financing of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party); and one from 12 to 14 November at a “Counter Terrorism Event”.

    The April meeting focused on “coordination and comparison of the information available in Europe on the financing of the PKK.” The agenda items for FP Dolphin at the Counter Terrorism Event were: “Overview, EIS [Europol Information System] in CT [counter-terrorism] work, ERWED/RWE Ukraine [RWE presumably stands for right-wing extremism], TG BAZAAR status and Ops MED status.”

    No German authorities attended the Counter Terrorism Event, but the Federal Criminal Police Office was present at the April meeting alongside representatives from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Europol.

    During 2014, the German government “made 24 data deliveries” to FP Dolphin, a minute amount compared to the overall number of German entries into the Europol Information System. As of 4 October 2012, Germany was responsible for 24,199 items in the EIS; on 18 October 2013, 36,047 items; and 30 September 2014, 49,449 items.

    According to the government’s response, “Germany is the second most frequent user of EIS,” and “conducted a total of 20,331 searches in the EIS in Q4 [fourth quarter] 2014.”

    The EIS contained entries on a total of 259,359 objects and people, although it is not clear what point in time this number relates to. The data in the system “is used mainly in the following areas of Europol’s mandate: drugs trafficking (28%), theft (19%), illegal immigration (11%), counterfeiting (8%) and fraud (6%).”

    The full response from the German government also contains responses to questions on the 2014 activities of:

    the ‘TC LI Group’ of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute;
    the Southeast European Law Enforcement Centre (SELEC);
    “the platform for police from South East Europe ‘Police Equal Performance’ (PEP)”;
    “twinning projects” between German authorities and other states;
    the Baltic Sea Region Border Control Cooperation (BSRBCC);
    agreements and cooperation between Europol and non-EU states and organisations;
    agreements and cooperation between Frontex and non-EU states and organisations;
    the EU Intelligence Analysis Centre (INTCEN);
    EU training for police due to serve abroad in “crisis management” missions;
    meetings of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC);
    the Police Working Group on Terrorism (PWGT);
    the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF); and
    the European Expert Network on Terrorism Issues (EENeT).
    Some significant information has come to light in recent years on undercover policing and the infilitration of protest movements. However, much remains unknown. The release of new information such as that obtained through the German Bundestag makes it possible to put together a picture of cross-border networks and their activities, but understanding in more detail their work – and holding state authorities to account for their actions – is far more difficult.

    In the UK, the police appear to have tried to ‘move on’ from the scandal by renaming and re-organising undercover policing units, most recently establishing the National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit. [10] Keeping track of the organisations, individuals and institutions involved – and what is known of their activities – can help to make clear the wider picture and what can be done about it.


    Statewatch tracks developments in undercover policing; numerous articles can be found in our database
    The Undercover Research Group recently published webpages containing further information on numerous aspects of the police infilitration of political movements in Europe, and will at some point launch a Wikipedia-style website on the issue
    The Guardian’s Undercover blog has regular updates on developments, mainly focusing on the UK
    The Bristling Badger blog frequently contains forensic examinations of issues related to the undercover policing scandal

    Minor Interpellation submitted by Member of the Bundestag Andrej Hunko and others and the Left Party parliamentary group, ‘Cooperation and projects by European police forces in 2014’, January 2015

    [1] ‘Another secretive European police working group revealed as governments remain tight-lipped on other police networks and the activities of Mark Kennedy’, Statewatch News Online, August 2012
    [2] ‘State guidelines for the exchange of undercover police officers revealed’, Statewatch News Online, May 2013
    [3] Matthias Monroy, ‘Using false documents against “Euro-anarchists”: the exchange of Anglo-German undercover police highlights controversial police operations’, Statewatch Journal, vol 21 no 2, April-June 2011
    [4] Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance; Police Spies Out of Lives
    [5] Council of the European Union, ‘Council adopts the “European Investigation Order” directive’, press release, 14 March 2014 (pdf); European Investigation Order (pdf)
    [6] ‘Another secretive European police working group revealed as governments remain tight-lipped on other police networks and the activities of Mark Kennedy’, Statewatch News Online, August 2012
    [7] ‘Uncertain future for EU-funded police project aimed at enhancing covert surveillance techniques’, Statewatch News Online, July 2013
    [8] ‘NSU Crime Spree Report Finds ‘Devastating’ Errors’, Spiegel Online, 23 August 2013
    [9] Andrej Hunko, ‘Abolish international databases on anarchy!’, press release, 5 June 2012
    [10] ‘Political Secret Police Units’, Bristling Badger, 5 February 2014


    Find this story at 20 February 2015

    © Statewatch

    OSZE in der Ukraine-Krise Friedensstifter im Kreuzfeuer

    Die Geiselnahme der OSZE-Militärbeobachter ist vorbei, die Debatte geht erst richtig los: CSU-Vize Gauweiler übt heftige Kritik, Verteidigungsministerin von der Leyen will den Einsatz überprüfen lassen. Und dann ist da noch der Vorwurf der Spionage, der die OSZE zu beschädigen droht.

    Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel hat am Sonntag den Telefonhörer in die Hand genommen. Am anderen Ende der Leitung: Wladimir Putin, der russische Präsident. Es war das erste Gespräch der beiden nach der Freilassung der OSZE-Militärbeobachter, die nach acht Tagen in der Gefangenschaft prorussischer Separatisten am Samstag freigekommen und nach Berlin ausgeflogen worden waren.

    Darüber habe sich Merkel am Telefon “erleichtert” gezeigt, teilte die Bundesregierung mit. Der Schwerpunkt des Gesprächs sei aber ein anderer gewesen: Die Kanzlerin habe mit Putin vor allem über den Besuch von Didier Burkhalter beim russischen Präsidenten am Mittwoch geredet.

    Welche Rolle spielt die OSZE?
    Burkhalter ist Bundespräsident der Schweiz und amtierender Vorsitzender der OSZE, der Organisation für Sicherheit und Zusammenarbeit in Europa. Ihre Hauptaufgabe: Frieden sichern. Die Ukraine, Russland und 55 weitere Staaten sind Mitglieder dieser Konferenz, die 1975 mit der Schlussakte von Helsinki unter dem Namen KSZE gegründet wurde und sich immer als blockübergreifend betrachtet hat. Damit ist sie – eigentlich – gut geeignet, um in der Ukraine-Krise zu vermitteln, in der es auch um die russische Furcht vor einer Ausbreitung der Nato nach Osten geht.


    Doch die Vermittlung hat sich seit Beginn der Krise als schwierig erwiesen. Burkhalters Idee einer internationalen Kontaktgruppe wurde nie umgesetzt. Von Burkhalters “persönlichem Gesandten” für die Ukraine, Tim Guldimann, ist wenig zu hören. Ein Mitte April zwischen der Ukraine, Russland, USA und EU vereinbartes Genfer Abkommen wird von Moskau als gescheitert betrachtet. In ihm war die Entwaffnung illegaler Kräfte und ein Gewaltverzicht vereinbart worden. Beides lässt auf sich warten, weshalb Bundesaußenminister Frank-Walter Steinmeier nun ein zweites Treffen in Genf fordert. Burkhalter hingegen will “runde Tische” etablieren, um die Präsidentschaftswahl in der Ukraine am 25. Mai vorzubereiten.

    Nato-Spione unter dem Deckmantel der OSZE?
    Vor allem in Deutschland wird die Arbeit der OSZE überlagert von der Debatte um die Geiselnahme in Slawjansk. Dort, im Osten der Ukraine, waren am 25. April die Militärbeobachter – darunter vier Deutsche – von prorussischen Separatisten entführt worden. Der Anführer der Separatisten, Wjatscheslaw Ponomarjow, rechtfertigte die Entführung mit dem Vorwurf, die Beobachter seien Spione der Nato.

    Seitdem tobt in der Politik, aber auch in Medien und Leserkommentarspalten, ein zum Teil erbitterter Streit über mehrere Punkte: Welche Rolle spielte die OSZE? Warum fuhren die Beobachter nach Slawjansk? Und, neuerdings: Warum war der deutsche Leiter der Gruppe, Axel Schneider, seinem Geiselnehmer gegenüber so höflich? Aber der Reihe nach.

    Direkt nach der Geiselnahme hatte Claus Neukirch, Sprecher der Organisation, im österreichischen Fernsehen erklärt: “Ich muss sagen, dass es sich im Grunde genommen nicht um Mitarbeiter der OSZE handelt.” Diese Passage wird seitdem immer wieder als Beweis dafür angeführt, dass es sich bei den Geiseln tatsächlich um Spione handle. Dabei sagte Neukirch auch: “Es sind Militärbeobachter, die dort bilateral unter einem OSZE-Dokument tätig sind.”

    Dieses “Wiener Dokument 2011” (hier als PDF) erlaubt es jedem der 57 OSZE-Mitgliedsländer, andere Länder um die Entsendung von Militärbeobachtern zu bitten, um “ungewöhnliche militärische Vorgänge” zu untersuchen. Genau das ist passiert. Die Ukraine berief sich darauf.

    Nach den gescheiterten Einsätzen auf der Krim gemäß Kapitel III des Dokuments (Verminderung der Risiken) bat Kiew um weitere Missionen gemäß der Kapitel IX (Einhaltung und Verifikation) und insbesondere Kapitel X (Regionale Maßnahmen), in dem es heißt: “Die Teilnehmerstaaten werden ermutigt, unter anderem auf der Grundlage von Sondervereinbarungen in bilateralem, multilateralem oder regionalem Zusammenhang Maßnahmen zur Steigerung der Transparenz und des Vertrauens zu ergreifen.” Diese Maßnahmen könnten angepasst und im regionalen Zusammenhang angewendet werden.

    Auf dieser Basis wurden in der Ukraine bislang nacheinander fünf multinationale Teams von jeweils etwa acht Militärbeobachtern aktiv. Die erste Mission begann Ende März unter dänischer Leitung, dann übernahm Polen als “Lead Nation”, gefolgt von den Niederlanden und schließlich Deutschland. Inzwischen ist eine neunköpfige Gruppe aktiv, die von Kanada geführt wird. Weitere Team-Mitglieder kommen aus Frankreich, Moldawien, den USA und der Ukraine selbst.

    Die OSZE listet die Mission auf ihrer Website unter dem Titel “Verschiedene Formen des OSZE-Engagements mit der Ukraine” auf. Ein OSZE-Twitterkanal sprach am Sonntag von einer “OSZE-Militärverifikationsmission”.

    Der Vorwurf, das Team habe nichts mit der OSZE zu tun gehabt, ist also haltlos. Was die Spionage betrifft: Während der Dolmetscher vom Bundessprachenamt in Hürth kommt, gehören die drei Soldaten dem Zentrum für Verifikationsaufgaben der Bundeswehr (ZVBw) im nordrhein-westfälischen Geilenkirchen an. Dort gibt es nach SZ-Informationen zwar auch eine geheime Außenstelle des Bundesnachrichtendienstes (BND). Doch keiner der Männer war für den Geheimdienst – oder sein militärisches Pendant, den Militärischen Abschirmdienst – tätig. Der BND berät deutsche OSZE-Beobachter allerdings vor ihren Einsätzen. Auch wenn die OSZE-Beobachter also selbst keine Spione sind, zu tun haben sie mit ihnen allemal.

    Warum gerade Slawjansk? Von der Leyen verspricht Prüfung
    Wie das deutsche Verteidigungsministerium erklärte, besuchen OSZE-Militärbeobachter, die über Diplomatenstatus verfügen, Orte auf Empfehlung des Gastgebers. Wohin sie fahren, entscheidet letztlich der jeweilige Leiter der Mission. Warum Oberst Axel Schneider das Risiko einging, sich in unmittelbare Nähe der Separatisten zu begeben, ist unklar – und ein Streitpunkt in Berlin, über die politischen Lager hinweg.

    Der SPD-Verteidigungsexperte Lars Klingbeil fordert in der Bild-Zeitung Aufklärung darüber, ob die Militärbeobachter wirklich die Aufgabe hatten, nach Slawjansk zu fahren. Die Bundesregierung habe das bislang “nicht plausibel erklären können”, kritisiert etwa die Vorsitzende der Linkspartei, Katja Kipping, im Gespräch mit der Zeitung Die Welt.

    Außenminister Steinmeier verteidigte hingegen die Mission: Sie habe wertvolle Hinweise geliefert. Verteidigungsministerin Ursula von der Leyen kündigte an, den Einsatz überprüfen zu wollen. Sie sagte aber auch: “Wir lassen uns nicht einschüchtern.”

    Der Verteidigungsexperte der Grünen im Bundestag, Omid Nouripour, sagte SZ.de, er sei für die Überprüfung des Einsatzes. “Aber wir dürfen jetzt nicht eine Diskussion anzetteln, die am Ende dazu führt, dass sich Deutschland nicht mehr beteiligt an einem jahrzehntelang bewährtem Instrumentarium.” Die OSZE-Mission sei “in vollem Wissen Russlands” absolviert worden. “Das Instrument ist ein Gutes.”

    Warum so höflich dem Geiselnehmer gegenüber? Alle gegen Gauweiler
    Als der selbsternannte Bürgermeister von Slawjansk, Ponomarjow, am 27. April seine Geiseln der Weltpresse vorführte, bedankte sich Oberst Schneider bei ihm und gab ihm die Hand. Der CSU-Bundestagsabgeordnete Peter Gauweiler hat das im Spiegel kritisiert: “Der ganze Vorgang macht auch für die Bundeswehr einen unguten Eindruck.” Deutschland habe sich “in dieser plumpen Weise noch tiefer in den Konflikt hineinziehen” lassen.

    Nun hagelt es wiederum Kritik an Gauweiler. Der CDU-Europaabgeordnete Elmar Brok nannte dessen Äußerungen “komplett unverständlich”. Der Parlamentarische Geschäftsführer der CSU-Landesgruppe, Max Straubinger, sprach von einer “ziemlichen Frechheit, vom gemütlichen Schreibtisch in München aus das Verhalten deutscher Soldaten in Geiselhaft zu maßregeln”.

    Und auch der Grüne Nouripour reagiert mit Unverständnis auf Gauweiler: Was er von Oberst Schneider auf der Pressekonferenz gesehen habe, sei konfliktentschärfend gewesen und damit “vorbildlich.”

    OSZE-Militärbeobachter werden vor ihrem Einsatz in Konfliktbewältigung geschult. Vermutlich hat Schneider also nur umgesetzt, was er gelernt hat.

    5. Mai 2014 13:46
    Von Michael König und Markus C. Schulte von Drach

    Find this story at 5 May 2014

    Copyright © Süddeutsche Zeitung Digitale Medien GmbH

    Todesschüsse in Kiew+ Wer ist für das Blutbad vom Maidan verantwortlich

    Georg Restle: „Die Krise in der Ukraine ist noch lange nicht vorbei. Dies haben uns die Bilder aus dem Osten des Landes von dieser Woche gelehrt. Und auch die Propagandaschlacht geht weiter. Eine der zentralen Fragen ist dabei, wer ist verantwortlich für das Blutbad, dem im Februar Dutzende Demonstranten und Polizisten zum Opfer fielen, und das schließlich zum Sturz des Präsidenten Janukowitsch führte? Wer also waren die Todesschützen auf dem Kiewer Maidan? Die vom Westen unterstützte Übergangsregierung hat sich letzte Woche festgelegt: Präsident Janukowitsch und seine Sonderkommandos tragen demnach allein die Schuld für die Toten. Doch an dieser Version gibt es jetzt erhebliche Zweifel, wie die Recherchen von Philipp Jahn, Olga Sviridenko und Stephan Stuchlik zeigen.”

    Was geschah am 20. Februar 2014 in Kiew? Aufgeheizte Stimmung, aus den ursprünglich friedlichen Demonstrationen ist ein Bürgerkrieg geworden. Teile der Demonstranten haben sich bewaffnet, rücken in Richtung Regierungsgebäude vor. In einzelnen Trupps versuchen die Demonstranten, auf die Instituts-Straße zu gelangen. Der blutige Donnerstag: Einzeln werden Demonstranten erschossen, viele von den Dächern umliegender Gebäude. Aber wer genau waren diese Scharfschützen, die auf die Demonstranten schossen?

    Diese Frage beschäftigt die Kiewer bis heute, zu Hunderten kommen sie täglich an den Platz des Massakers.

    Als wir ankommen, sechs Wochen danach, ist anscheinend noch nicht einmal die grundsätzliche Beweisaufnahme abgeschlossen. Sergeij, ein Waffenexperte, ist einer der vielen unabhängigen Ermittler, die eng mit der Staatsanwaltschaft zusammenarbeiten und die Ermittlungen in Gang halten. Vor unseren Augen sichert er noch Patronenhülsen. Danach alarmiert er die staatlichen Ermittler, die den Ort nach eigener Aussage schon gründlich untersucht haben. Erstaunlich, während sie noch arbeiten, hat sich ihre vorgesetzte Behörde in einer Pressekonferenz schon festgelegt, wer die Schuldigen sind.

    Oleg Machnitzki, Generalstaatsanwalt Ukraine (Übersetzung MONITOR): „Mit dem heutigen Tag klagt die Staatsanwaltschaft 12 Mitglieder der Spezialeinheit Berkut des Mordes an friedlichen Demonstranten an. Der damalige Präsident Janukowitsch befehligte direkt diese Spezialeinheit Berkut.“

    Die neue Regierung sagt also, die alte Regierung Janukowitsch wäre für das Blutbad verantwortlich.

    Doch was geschah wirklich am 20 Februar? Fest steht, die Demonstranten rückten auf der Institutsstraße Richtung Regierungsgebäude vor. Von gegenüber gerieten sie unter Feuer, vom Dach des Ministerkabinetts, der Zentralbank und weiteren Regierungsgebäuden. Doch schon früh gab es Hinweise, dass sie auch im Rücken getroffen wurden, von ihrer eigenen Zentrale aus, vom Hotel Ukraina.

    Aber welche Beweise gibt es dafür? Zum einen ist da dieses Video, das augenscheinlich beweist, dass der Oppositionelle mit dem Metallschild von hinten getroffen wird. Der Mann in Gelb auf dieser Aufnahme geht sogar noch weiter. Er gehörte zu den Demonstranten, war an diesem Tag stundenlang auf der Institutsstraße. Er heißt Mikola, wir treffen uns mit ihm am Ort des Geschehens. Er sagt uns, es wurde sogar mehrfach in den Rücken der Opposition geschossen.

    Mikola (Übersetzung MONITOR): „Ja, am zwanzigsten wurden wir von hinten beschossen, vom Hotel Ukraina, vom 8. oder 9. Stock aus.“

    Reporterin (Übersetzung MONITOR): „Von der achten oder neunten Etage?“

    Mikola (Übersetzung MONITOR): „Ja, auf jeden Fall fast von ganz oben.“

    Reporterin (Übersetzung MONITOR): „Von da oben?“

    Mikola (Übersetzung MONITOR): „Ja, da standen Leute oben und haben geschossen und aus der anderen Richtung hier wurden wir auch beschossen.“

    Reporter (Übersetzung MONITOR): „Und wer hat von oben geschossen?“

    Mikola (Übersetzung MONITOR): „Das weiß ich nicht.“

    Reporterin (Übersetzung MONITOR): „Haben Sie eine Ahnung?“

    Mikola (Übersetzung MONITOR): „Das waren Söldner, auf jeden Fall Profis.“

    Das Ukraina-Hotel hier war das damalige Zentrum der Demonstranten. Hat sich der Augenzeuge geirrt? Wir sind nachts unterwegs mit Ermittler Sergej. Er zeigt uns mit einem Laser, dass es nicht nur Schusskanäle aus Richtung der Regierungsgebäude gibt. Einige Kanäle in den Bäumen deuten in die entgegengesetzte Richtung, wenn man durch Austrittsloch und Einschussloch leuchtet, oben ins Hotel Ukraina, damals die Zentrale der Opposition. Das aber passt schlecht zur Version des Generalstaatsanwalts, der uns nach Tagen Überzeugungsarbeit endlich empfängt. Er ist von der neuen Regierung eingesetzt, gehört dem rechtsnationalen Flügel der damaligen Opposition an, der umstrittenen Svobóda-Partei.

    Oleg Machnitzki, Generalstaatsanwalt, Ukraine (Übersetzung MONITOR): „Wir können wirklich heute schon sagen, nach allen Beweismitteln und Expertisen, die wir in der Hand haben, wer prinzipiell Schuld an den Sniper-Attacken ist: der damalige Präsident Viktor Janukowitsch, der ehemalige Verwaltungschef und der ehemalige Innenminister Sacharchenko.“

    Reporter (Übersetzung MONITOR): „Sie wissen auch, dass es Sniper vom Hotel Ukraina gab?“

    Oleg Machnitzki, Generalstaatsanwalt, Ukraine (Übersetzung MONITOR): „Wir untersuchen das.“

    Die Scharfschützen also alles Janukowitsch-Leute? Es gibt noch weitere Beweise, die diese These in Frage stellen. Wir treffen uns mit einem Radio-Amateur, der an diesem Tag aufgezeichnet hat, wie sich Janukowitsch-Scharfschützen untereinander unterhalten. Ihr Funkverkehr beweist: Da schießt jemand auf Unbewaffnete, jemand den sie nicht kennen.

    1. Scharfschütze (Übersetzung MONITOR): „He, Leute, ihr da drüben, rechts vom Hotel Ukraina.“

    2. Scharfschütze (Übersetzung MONITOR): „Wer hat da geschossen? Unsere Leute schießen nicht auf Unbewaffnete.“

    1. Scharfschütze (Übersetzung MONITOR): „Jungs, da sitzt ein Spotter, der zielt auf mich. Auf wen zielt der von der Ecke. Guckt mal!“

    2. Scharfschütze (Übersetzung MONITOR): „Auf dem Dach vom gelben Gebäude. Auf dem Kino, auf dem Kino.“

    1. Scharfschütze (Übersetzung MONITOR): „Den hat jemand erschossen. Aber nicht wir.“

    2. Scharfschütze (Übersetzung MONITOR): „Miron, Miron, gibt es da noch mehr Scharfschützen? Und wer sind die?“

    Wir halten fest: Es gab neben den Regierungs-Scharfschützen also noch andere unbekannte Schützen, die auf unbewaffnete Demonstranten geschossen haben. Und, wer immer vom Hotel Ukraina schießt, hat – so legt dieses Video nahe – auch diese Milizionäre getroffen. Dass Janukowitsch auf die eigenen Leute hat schießen lassen, ist unwahrscheinlich.

    Gab es also Scharfschützen der damaligen Opposition? Fest steht, es gab neben den vielen friedlichen Demonstranten durchaus eine Gruppe Radikaler mit professionellen Waffen, wie diese Aufnahmen zeigen.

    Und, das Hotel am Morgen des 20. Februar war fest in der Hand der Opposition. Wir sprechen mit Augenzeugen aus dem Hotel Ukraina, Journalisten, Oppositionelle. Sie alle bestätigen uns, am 20. Februar war das Hotel von der Opposition schwer bewacht. Es hätte sich also schwerlich ein Scharfschütze der Regierung einschleichen können.

    Haben also radikale Oppositionelle am Ende selbst geschossen, um Chaos zu erzeugen? Um Janukowitsch die Schuld anzuhängen? Die russischen Fernsehsender verbreiten Bilder, auf denen genau das zu sehen sein soll. Unsere Recherchen bestätigen, dass die Aufnahmen tatsächlich im Hotel Ukraina gemacht wurden. Aber wer da genau auf wen schießt, lässt sich nicht endgültig klären.

    Fest steht nur, es wurde nicht nur auf Oppositionelle, sondern auch auf die Milizen der Regierung geschossen. Vielleicht sogar von denselben Leuten? Wir treffen einen der wenigen Ärzte, der die Verwundeten beider Seiten versorgt hat.

    Oleksandr Lisowoi, Krankenhaus Nr. 6, Kiew (Übersetzung MONITOR): „Die Verwundeten, die wir behandelt haben, hatten denselben Typ Schussverletzungen, ich spreche jetzt von dem Typ Kugeln, die wir aus den Körpern herausoperiert haben, die waren identisch. Mehr kann ich nicht sagen.“

    Reporterin (Übersetzung MONITOR): „Aber die haben Sie…“

    Oleksandr Lisowoi, Krankenhaus Nr. 6, Kiew (Übersetzung MONITOR): „Bei der Miliz und bei der Opposition gefunden.“

    Warum geht die Staatsanwaltschaft solchen Fragen nicht nach? Der deutsche Außenminister und die Europäische Union haben bereits im Februar per Abkommen festgestellt, dass die Schuldfrage in der Ukraine ein politisch zentrales Thema sei, die Aufarbeitung sollte „ergebnisoffen“ sein, um das Vertrauen in die neue ukrainische Regierung zu stärken. Doch mittlerweile mehren sich die Zweifel, ob wirklich sachgerecht ermittelt wird, auch bei den eigenen Mitarbeitern. Wir sprechen mit einem hochrangigen Mitglied der Ermittlungskommission. Er erzählt uns Unglaubliches.

    Zitat: „Das, was mir an Ergebnissen meiner Untersuchung vorliegt, stimmt nicht mit dem überein, was die Staatsanwaltschaft erklärt.“

    Wurden also Beweismittel unterdrückt oder sogar unterschlagen? Auch die Rechtsanwälte, die die Angehörigen der Toten vertreten, alle eigentlich auf Seiten der neuen Regierung, beklagen sich, dass sie überhaupt nicht darüber informiert werden, womit genau sich die Staatsanwaltschaft beschäftige.

    Roman Titikalo, Anwalt der Nebenklage (Übersetzung MONITOR): „Wir haben nicht gesagt bekommen, welcher Typ Waffen, wir bekommen keinen Zugang zu den Gutachten, wir bekommen die Einsatzpläne nicht. Die anderen Ermittlungsdokumente haben wir auch nicht, die Staatsanwaltschaft zeigt uns einfach keine Papiere.“

    Reporter (Übersetzung MONITOR): „Haben Sie ballistische Gutachten?“

    Roman Titikalo, Anwalt der Nebenklage (Übersetzung MONITOR): „Nein.“

    Reporter (Übersetzung MONITOR): „Rechtsmedizinische Gutachten?“

    Roman Titikalo, Anwalt der Nebenklage (Übersetzung MONITOR): „Ich durfte in den Obduktionsbericht reingucken, aber nicht kopieren, ballistische Gutachten habe ich nicht bekommen.“

    Ein Anwalt der Verletzten geht sogar noch weiter:

    Oleksandr Baschuk, Anwalt der Geschädigten (Übersetzung MONITOR): „Wir kommen alle an keine Ermittlungsprotokolle ran und wenn Sie mich fragen, gibt es dafür einen einfachen Grund, es wird nicht richtig ermittelt. Ich als Anwalt der Verletzten sage Ihnen, die Staatsanwaltschaft ermittelt nicht richtig, die decken ihre Leute, die sind parteiisch, so wie früher. Die wollen wie in der Sowjetunion oder unter Janukowitsch alles unter der Decke halten, so ist das.“

    Der blutige Donnerstag: Über 30 Menschen werden an diesem Tag in Kiew ermordet, ein Blutbad im Zentrum einer europäischen Großstadt. Unsere Recherchen zeigen, dass in Kiew schon Schuldige präsentiert werden, obwohl es auch zahlreiche Hinweise gibt, die in Richtung Opposition weisen. Spuren, die nicht verfolgt werden. Und möglicherweise gibt es auch noch andere Kräfte, die an den Schießereien beteiligt waren. Die Kiewer Generalstaatsanwaltschaft ist sich in ihrer Einschätzung sicher, wir sind es nicht.

    Georg Restle: „Bei allen offenen Fragen, dass ein Vertreter der nationalistischen Svoboda-Partei als Generalstaatsanwalt die Aufklärung des Kiewer Blutbads ganz offensichtlich behindert, wirft ein schlechtes Bild auf die neue Übergangsregierung – und damit auch auf all jene westlichen Regierungen, die die neuen Machthaber in Kiew unterstützen.“

    DasErste.de – Monitor –

    Find this story at 10 April 2014

    © WDR 2014

    It’s not Russia that’s pushed Ukraine to the brink of war

    The attempt to lever Kiev into the western camp by ousting an elected leader made conflict certain. It could be a threat to us all

    ‘The reality is that after two decades of Nato expansion, this crisis was triggered by the west’s attempt to pull Ukraine decisively into its orbit … ‘ Illustration: Matt Kenyon
    The threat of war in Ukraine is growing. As the unelected government in Kiev declares itself unable to control the rebellion in the country’s east, John Kerry brands Russia a rogue state. The US and the European Union step up sanctions against the Kremlin, accusing it of destabilising Ukraine. The White House is reported to be set on a new cold war policy with the aim of turning Russia into a “pariah state”.

    That might be more explicable if what is going on in eastern Ukraine now were not the mirror image of what took place in Kiev a couple of months ago. Then, it was armed protesters in Maidan Square seizing government buildings and demanding a change of government and constitution. US and European leaders championed the “masked militants” and denounced the elected government for its crackdown, just as they now back the unelected government’s use of force against rebels occupying police stations and town halls in cities such as Slavyansk and Donetsk.

    “America is with you,” Senator John McCain told demonstrators then, standing shoulder to shoulder with the leader of the far-right Svoboda party as the US ambassador haggled with the state department over who would make up the new Ukrainian government.

    When the Ukrainian president was replaced by a US-selected administration, in an entirely unconstitutional takeover, politicians such as William Hague brazenly misled parliament about the legality of what had taken place: the imposition of a pro-western government on Russia’s most neuralgic and politically divided neighbour.

    Putin bit back, taking a leaf out of the US street-protest playbook – even though, as in Kiev, the protests that spread from Crimea to eastern Ukraine evidently have mass support. But what had been a glorious cry for freedom in Kiev became infiltration and insatiable aggression in Sevastopol and Luhansk.

    After Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to join Russia, the bulk of the western media abandoned any hint of even-handed coverage. So Putin is now routinely compared to Hitler, while the role of the fascistic right on the streets and in the new Ukrainian regime has been airbrushed out of most reporting as Putinist propaganda.

    So you don’t hear much about the Ukrainian government’s veneration of wartime Nazi collaborators and pogromists, or the arson attacks on the homes and offices of elected communist leaders, or the integration of the extreme Right Sector into the national guard, while the anti-semitism and white supremacism of the government’s ultra-nationalists is assiduously played down, and false identifications of Russian special forces are relayed as fact.

    The reality is that, after two decades of eastward Nato expansion, this crisis was triggered by the west’s attempt to pull Ukraine decisively into its orbit and defence structure, via an explicitly anti-Moscow EU association agreement. Its rejection led to the Maidan protests and the installation of an anti-Russian administration – rejected by half the country – that went on to sign the EU and International Monetary Fund agreements regardless.

    No Russian government could have acquiesced in such a threat from territory that was at the heart of both Russia and the Soviet Union. Putin’s absorption of Crimea and support for the rebellion in eastern Ukraine is clearly defensive, and the red line now drawn: the east of Ukraine, at least, is not going to be swallowed up by Nato or the EU.

    But the dangers are also multiplying. Ukraine has shown itself to be barely a functioning state: the former government was unable to clear Maidan, and the western-backed regime is “helpless” against the protests in the Soviet-nostalgic industrial east. For all the talk about the paramilitary “green men” (who turn out to be overwhelmingly Ukrainian), the rebellion also has strong social and democratic demands: who would argue against a referendum on autonomy and elected governors?

    Meanwhile, the US and its European allies impose sanctions and dictate terms to Russia and its proteges in Kiev, encouraging the military crackdown on protesters after visits from Joe Biden and the CIA director, John Brennan. But by what right is the US involved at all, incorporating under its strategic umbrella a state that has never been a member of Nato, and whose last elected government came to power on a platform of explicit neutrality? It has none, of course – which is why the Ukraine crisis is seen in such a different light across most of the world. There may be few global takers for Putin’s oligarchic conservatism and nationalism, but Russia’s counterweight to US imperial expansion is welcomed, from China to Brazil.

    In fact, one outcome of the crisis is likely to be a closer alliance between China and Russia, as the US continues its anti-Chinese “pivot” to Asia. And despite growing violence, the cost in lives of Russia’s arms-length involvement in Ukraine has so far been minimal compared with any significant western intervention you care to think of for decades.

    The risk of civil war is nevertheless growing, and with it the chances of outside powers being drawn into the conflict. Barack Obama has already sent token forces to eastern Europe and is under pressure, both from Republicans and Nato hawks such as Poland, to send many more. Both US and British troops are due to take part in Nato military exercises in Ukraine this summer.

    The US and EU have already overplayed their hand in Ukraine. Neither Russia nor the western powers may want to intervene directly, and the Ukrainian prime minister’s conjuring up of a third world war presumably isn’t authorised by his Washington sponsors. But a century after 1914, the risk of unintended consequences should be obvious enough – as the threat of a return of big-power conflict grows. Pressure for a negotiated end to the crisis is essential.

    Seumas Milne
    The Guardian, Wednesday 30 April 2014 21.01 BST

    Find this story at 30 April 2014

    © 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.

    Bulgaria: Asylum Seekers Summarily Expelled Syrians, Others Forced Back Across Turkish Border

    Slamming the door on refugees is not the way to deal with an increase in people seeking protection. The right way, simply, is for Bulgarian authorities to examine asylum seekers’ claims and treat them decently.

    Bill Frelick, refugee rights program director
    (Sofia) – Bulgaria has embarked on a “Containment Plan” to reduce the number of asylum seekers in the country, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The plan has been carried out in part by summarily pushing back Syrians, Afghans, and others as they irregularly cross the border from Turkey.

    The 76-page report, “Containment Plan: Bulgaria’s Pushbacks and Detention of Syrian and other Asylum Seekers and Migrants,” documents how in recent months Bulgarian border police, often using excessive force, have summarily returned people who appear to be asylum seekers to Turkey. The people have been forced back across the border without proper procedures and with no opportunity to lodge asylum claims. Bulgaria should end summary expulsions at the Turkish border, stop the excessive use of force by border guards, and improve the treatment of detainees and conditions of detention in police stations and migrant detention centers.

    “Slamming the door on refugees is not the way to deal with an increase in people seeking protection,” said Bill Frelick, refugee rights program director at Human Rights Watch. “The right way, simply, is for Bulgarian authorities to examine asylum seekers’ claims and treat them decently.”

    In recent times, Bulgaria has not been a host country for significant numbers of refugees. On average, Bulgaria registered about 1,000 asylum seekers per year in the past decade. That changed in 2013 when more than 11,000 people, over half of them fleeing Syria’s deadly repression and war, lodged asylum applications. Despite ample early warning signs, Bulgaria was unprepared for the increase. A February 5, 2014 report by the Interior Ministry said, “Until mid-2013 Bulgaria was completely unprepared for the forecasted refugee flow.”

    Human Rights Watch documented Bulgaria’s failure to provide new arrivals with basic humanitarian assistance in 2013, including adequate food and shelter at reception centers that often lacked heat, windows, and adequate plumbing. Human Rights Watch also found poor detention conditions and brutal treatment in detention centers; inadequacies in asylum procedures, including long delays in registering asylum claims; shortfalls in its treatment of unaccompanied migrant children, including failure to appoint legal guardians; and an absence of viable programs to support and integrate recognized refugees.

    On November 6, the Bulgarian government established a new policy to prevent irregular entry at the Turkish border. This “containment plan” entailed deploying an additional 1,500 police officers at the border, supplemented by a contingent of guest guards from other EU member states through the EU’s external border control agency, Frontex. Bulgaria also began building a fence along a 33-kilometer stretch of the Turkish border.

    Human Rights Watch interviewed 177 refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants in various locations in both Bulgaria and Turkey. Of these, 41 gave detailed accounts of 44 incidents involving at least 519 people in which Bulgarian border police apprehended and returned them to Turkey, in some instances using violence.

    “Abdullah,” an Afghan asylum seeker interviewed in Turkey in January 2014, said that the Bulgarian border police began beating him immediately after they caught him and a few others, and showed Human Rights Watch interviewers his scars.

    “After beating me, the police brought me over to their superior who pointed to his boot as if because of me his boot was dirty,” he said. “So he ordered the soldier to beat me. First, he beat me with his fist in my stomach and then with the butt of his gun on my back so I fell down, then he kicked my ribcage while I was lying down. One of my bones in my lower back is broken…. They kept beating my head and my back. First one soldier and then another. I tried to escape but they caught me and beat me even more. They even beat me as they were dragging me to the car. They put three of us on the back seat of the jeep. I wasn’t even thinking about pain, all I was worried about was my wife and child,” who had become separated from him as the police approached.

    Abdullah said that the police drove for about 30 to 45 minutes, stopped, and then started walking: “While we were walking he kept hitting me with his stick. The walk was about 200 meters and I was beaten all the way. When we reached the border, the soldier showed the direction to Turkey.”

    With the help of the European Union, the humanitarian situation in Bulgaria has improved in 2014, but this coincides with the pushback policy, a precipitous drop in arrivals of new asylum seekers, and a 27 percent decrease from the number of refugees the country was hosting in late 2013. The European Commission has launched infringement proceedings against Bulgaria, calling on it to answer allegations that it broke EU rules by summarily returning Syrian refugees.

    “Reception conditions in Bulgaria have improved compared with the abysmal conditions we witnessed in late 2013,” Frelick said. “But these improvements are less impressive when seen in the context of Bulgaria’s efforts to prevent asylum seekers from lodging refugee claims, which violate the country’s refugee law obligations.”

    The Bulgarian Council of Ministers referred to their new policy as a “plan for the containment of the crisis.” But the migration “crisis” Bulgaria faced in 2013 should also be seen in context:In the first five weeks of 2014 – at a time when 99 asylum seekers succeeded in crossing from Turkey to Bulgaria – more than 20,000 Syrian refugees entered Turkey, the country to which Bulgaria was pushing back asylum seekers. Turkey is currently hosting more than 700,000 Syrians, according to UNHCR.

    “Bulgaria, of course, is faced with a humanitarian challenge and its capacity to meet that challenge is limited,” Frelick said. “Even with limited capacity, however, shoving people back over the border is no way to respect the rights of refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants.”

    APRIL 29, 2014

    Find this story at 29 April 2014

    © Copyright 2014, Human Rights Watch

    EU planning to ‘own and operate’ spy drones and an air force

    The European Union is planning to “own and operate” spy drones, surveillance satellites and aircraft as part of a new intelligence and security agency under the control of Baroness Ashton.

    The controversial proposals are a major move towards creating an independent EU military body with its own equipment and operations, and will be strongly opposed by Britain.

    Officials told the Daily Telegraph that the European Commission and Lady Ashton’s European External Action Service want to create military command and communication systems to be used by the EU for internal security and defence purposes. Under the proposals, purchasing plans will be drawn up by autumn.

    The use of the new spy drones and satellites for “internal and external security policies”, which will include police intelligence, the internet, protection of external borders and maritime surveillance, will raise concerns that the EU is creating its own version of the US National Security Agency.

    Senior European officials regard the plan as an urgent response to the recent scandal over American and British communications surveillance by creating EU’s own security and spying agency.

    “The Edward Snowden scandal shows us that Europe needs its own autonomous security capabilities, this proposal is one step further towards European defence integration,” said a senior EU official.

    The proposal said “the commission will work with the EEAS on a joint assessment of dual-use capability needs for EU security and defence policies”.

    It continued: “On the basis of this assessment, it will come up with a proposal for which capability needs, if any, could best be fulfilled by assets directly purchased, owned and operated by the Union.” A commission official confirmed the proposal.

    “Looking at the current gaps, possibilities could be from surveillance Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems to airlift and command and communication facilities,” said the official.

    There is a already an intense behind-the-scenes battle pitting London against the rest over plans to create an EU military operations headquarters in Brussels.

    Lady Ashton, the European foreign minister, the commission and France – backed by Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland – all support the plans. Both sets of proposals are likely to come to a head at an EU summit fight in December.

    “We would not support any activity that would mean the Commission owning or controlling specific defence research assets or capabilities,” said a British government spokesman.

    Britain has a veto but the group of countries have threatened to use a legal mechanism, created by the Lisbon Treaty, to bypass the British and create a major rift in Nato.

    Geoffrey Van Orden MEP, Conservative European defence and security spokesman, accused the commission of being “obsessed” with promoting the “EU’s military ambitions”.

    “It would be alarming if the EU – opaque, unaccountable, bureaucratic and desperately trying to turn itself into a federal state – were to try and create an intelligence gathering capability of its own. This is something that we need to stop in its tracks before it is too late,” he said.

    Nigel Farage MEP, the leader of Ukip, described the plans for EU spy drones and satellites as “a deeply sinister development”.

    “These are very scary people, and these revelations should give any lover of liberty pause for thought over the ambitions of the EU elite.”

    The Open Europe think tank has warned that the EU “has absolutely no democratic mandate for actively controlling and operating military and security capabilities”.

    “The fact is European countries have different views on defence and this is best served by intergovernmental cooperation, not by European Commission attempts at nation-building,” said Pawel Swidlicki, a research analyst at Open Europe.

    The spy drones and secure command systems would be linked to a £3.5 billion spy satellite project known as Copernicus which will be used to provide “imaging capabilities to support Common Security and Defence Policy missions and operations”. Currently Copernicus is due to be operated by the European Space Agency.

    It is part of the Sentinel system of satellites, which is costing British taxpayers £434 million. Previously known as the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security project, which is due to become operational next year.

    By Bruno Waterfield Last updated: July 26th, 2013

    Find this story at 26 July 2013

    © Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2013

    How the NSA Targets Germany and Europe

    Top secret documents detail the mass scope of efforts by the United States to spy on Germany and Europe. Each month, the NSA monitors a half a billion communications and EU buildings are bugged. The scandal poses a threat to trans-Atlantic relations.

    At first glance, the story always appears to be the same. A needle has disappeared into the haystack — information lost in a sea of data.

    For some time now, though, it appears America’s intelligence services have been trying to tackle the problem from a different angle. “If you’re looking for a needle in the haystack, you need a haystack,” says Jeremy Bash, the former chief of staff to ex-CIA head Leon Panetta.

    An enormous haystack it turns out — one comprised of the billions of minutes of daily cross-border telephone traffic. Add to that digital streams from high-bandwidth Internet cables that transport data equivalent to that held in Washington’s Library of Congress around the world in the course of a few seconds. And then add to that the billions of emails sent to international destinations each day — a world of entirely uncontrolled communication. And also a world full of potential threats — at least from the intelligence services’ perspective. Those are the “challenges,” an internal statement at the National Security Agency (NSA), the American signals intelligence organization, claims.

    Four-star General Keith Alexander — who is today the NSA director and America’s highest-ranking cyber warrior as the chief of the US Cyber Command — defined these challenges. Given the cumulative technological eavesdropping capacity, he asked during a 2008 visit to Menwith Hill, Britain’s largest listening station near Harrogate in Yorkshire, “Why can’t we collect all the signals all the time?”

    All the signals all the time. Wouldn’t that be the NSA’s ideal haystack? So what would the needle be? A trail to al-Qaida, an industrial facility belonging to an enemy state, plans prepared by international drug dealers or even international summit preparations being made by leading politicians of friendly nations? Whatever the target, it would be determined on a case by case basis. What is certain, however, is that there would always be a haystack.

    A Fiasco for the NSA

    Just how close America’s NSA got to this dream in cozy cooperation with other Western intelligence services has been exposed in recent weeks by a young American who, going by outward appearances, doesn’t look much like the hero he is being celebrated as around the world by people who feel threatened by America’s enormous surveillance apparatus.

    The whole episode is a fiasco for the NSA which, in contrast to the CIA, has long been able to conduct its spying without drawing much public attention. Snowden has done “irreversible and significant damage” to US national security, Alexander told ABC a week ago. Snowden’s NSA documents contain more than one or two scandals. They are a kind of digital snapshot of the world’s most powerful intelligence agency’s work over a period of around a decade. SPIEGEL has seen and reviewed a series of documents from the archive.

    The documents prove that Germany played a central role in the NSA’s global surveillance network — and how the Germans have also become targets of US attacks. Each month, the US intelligence service saves data from around half a billion communications connections from Germany.

    No one is safe from this mass spying — at least almost no one. Only one handpicked group of nations is excluded — countries that the NSA has defined as close friends, or “2nd party,” as one internal document indicates. They include the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. A document classified as “top secret” states that, “The NSA does NOT target its 2nd party partners, nor request that 2nd parties do anything that is inherently illegal for NSA to do.”

    ‘We Can, and Often Do Target Signals’

    For all other countries, including the group of around 30 nations that are considered to be 3rd party partners, however, this protection does not apply. “We can, and often do, target the signals of most 3rd party foreign partners,” the NSA boasts in an internal presentation.

    According to the listing, Germany is among the countries that are the focus of surveillance. Thus, the documents confirm what had already been suspected for some time in government circles in Berlin — that the US intelligence service, with approval from the White House, is spying on the Germans — possibly right up to the level of the chancellor. So it comes as little surprise that the US has used every trick in the book to spy on the Washington offices of the European Union, as one document viewed by SPIEGEL indicates.

    But the new aspect of the revelations isn’t that countries are trying to spy on each other, eavesdropping on ministers and conducting economic espionage. What is most important about the documents is that they reveal the possibility of the absolute surveillance of a country’s people and foreign citizens without any kind of effective controls or supervision. Among the intelligence agencies in the Western world, there appears to be a division of duties and at times extensive cooperation. And it appears that the principle that foreign intelligence agencies do not monitor the citizens of their own country, or that they only do so on the basis of individual court decisions, is obsolete in this world of globalized communication and surveillance. Britain’s GCHQ intelligence agency can spy on anyone but British nationals, the NSA can conduct surveillance on anyone but Americans, and Germany’s BND foreign intelligence agency can spy on anyone but Germans. That’s how a matrix is created of boundless surveillance in which each partner aids in a division of roles.

    The documents show that, in this situation, the services did what is not only obvious, but also anchored in German law: They exchanged information. And they worked together extensively. That applies to the British and the Americans, but also to the BND, which assists the NSA in its Internet surveillance.

    Unimaginable Dimensions

    SPIEGEL has decided not to publish details it has seen about secret operations that could endanger the lives of NSA workers. Nor is it publishing the related internal code words. However, this does not apply to information about the general surveillance of communications. They don’t endanger any human lives — they simply describe a system whose dimensions go beyond the imaginable. This kind of global debate is actually precisely what Snowden intended and what motivated his breach of secrecy. “The public needs to decide whether these policies are right or wrong,” he says.

    The facts, which are now a part of the public record thanks to Snowden, disprove the White House’s line of defense up until now, which has been that the surveillance is necessary to prevent terrorist attacks, as President Barack Obama said during his recent visit to Berlin. NSA chief Alexander has sought to justify himself by saying that the NSA has prevented 10 terrorist attacks in the United States alone. Globally, he says that 50 terrorist plots have been foiled with the NSA’s help. That may be true, but it is difficult to verify and at best only part of the truth.

    Research in Berlin, Brussels and Washington, as well as the documents that have been reviewed by the journalists at this publication, reveal how overreaching the US surveillance has been.

    Germany, for its part, has a central role in this global spying system. As the Guardian newspaper, which is working together with Snowden, recently revealed, the NSA has developed a program for the incoming streams of data called “Boundless Informant.” The program is intended to process connection data from all incoming telephone calls in “near real time,” as one document states. It doesn’t record the contents of the call, just the metadata — in other words, the phone numbers involved in the communication.

    It is precisely the kind of data retention that has been the subject of bitter debate in Germany for years. In 2010, the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe even banned the practice.

    “Boundless Informant” produces heat maps of countries in which the data collected by the NSA originates. The most closely monitored regions are located in the Middle East, followed by Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. The latter two are marked in red on the NSA’s map of the world. Germany, the only country in Europe on the map, is shown in yellow, a sign of considerable spying.

    Spying on the European Union
    An NSA table (see graphic), published for the first time here by SPIEGEL, documents the massive amount of information captured from the monitored data traffic. According to the graph, on an average day last December, the agency gathered metadata from some 15 million telephone connections and 10 million Internet datasets. On Dec. 24, it collected data on around 13 million phone calls and about half as many Internet connections.

    On the busiest days, such as Jan. 7 of this year, the information gathered spiked to nearly 60 million communications processes under surveillance. The Americans are collecting metadata from up to half a billion communications a month in Germany — making the country one of the biggest sources of streams of information flowing into the agency’s gigantic sea of data.

    Another look at the NSA’s data hoard shows how much less information the NSA is taking from countries like France and Italy. In the same period, the agency recorded data from an average of around 2 million connections, and about 7 million on Christmas Eve. In Poland, which is also under surveillance, the numbers varied between 2 million and 4 million in the first three weeks of December.

    But the NSA’s work has little to do with classic eavesdropping. Instead, it’s closer to a complete structural acquisition of data. Believing that less can be extrapolated from such metadata than from intercepted communication content would be a mistake, though. It’s a gold mine for investigators, because it shows not only contact networks, but also enables the creation of movement profiles and even predictions about the possible behavior of the people participating in the communication under surveillance.

    According to insiders familiar with the German portion of the NSA program, the main interest is in a number of large Internet hubs in western and southern Germany. The secret NSA documents show that Frankfurt plays an important role in the global network, and the city is named as a central base in the country. From there, the NSA has access to Internet connections that run not only to countries like Mali or Syria, but also to ones in Eastern Europe. Much suggests that the NSA gathers this data partly with and without Germany’s knowledge, although the individual settings by which the data is filtered and sorted have apparently been discussed. By comparison, the “Garlick” system, with which the NSA monitored satellite communication out of the Bavarian town of Bad Aibling for years, seems modest. The NSA listening station at Bad Aibling was at the center of the German debate over America’s controversial Echelon program and alleged industrial espionage during the 1990s.

    “The US relationship with Germany has been about as close as you can get,”American journalist and NSA expert James Bamford recently told German weekly Die Zeit. “We probably put more listening posts in Germany than anyplace because of its proximity to the Soviet Union.”

    Such foreign partnerships, one document states, provide “unique target access.”

    ‘Privacy of Telecommunications’ Is ‘Inviolable’

    But the US does not share the results of the surveillance with all of these foreign partners, the document continues. In many cases, equipment and technical support are offered in exchange for the signals accessed. Often the agency will offer equipment, training and technical support to gain access to its desired targets. These “arrangements” are typically bilateral and made outside of any military and civil relationships the US might have with these countries, one top secret document shows. This international division of labor seems to violate Article 10 of Germany’s constitution, the Basic Law, which guarantees that “the privacy of correspondence, posts and telecommunications shall be inviolable” and can only be suspended in narrowly defined exceptions.

    “Any analyst can target anyone anytime,” Edward Snowden said in his video interview, and that includes a federal judge or the president, if an email address is available, he added.

    Just how unscrupulously the US government allows its intelligence agencies to act is documented by a number of surveillance operations that targeted the European Union in Brussels and Washington, for which it has now become clear that the NSA was responsible.

    A little over five years ago, security experts discovered that a number of odd, aborted phone calls had been made around a certain extension within the Justus Lipsius building, the headquarters of the European Council, the powerful body representing the leaders of the EU’s 27 member states. The calls were all made to numbers close to the one used as the remote servicing line of the Siemens telephone system used in the building. Officials in Brussels asked the question: How likely is it that a technician or service computer would narrowly misdial the service extension a number of times? They traced the origin of the calls — and were greatly surprised by what they found. It had come from a connection just a few kilometers away in the direction of the Brussels airport, in the suburb of Evere, where NATO headquarters is located.

    The EU security experts managed to pinpoint the line’s exact location — a building complex separated from the rest of the headquarters. From the street, it looks like a flat-roofed building with a brick facade and a large antenna on top. The structure is separated from the street by a high fence and a privacy shield, with security cameras placed all around. NATO telecommunications experts — and a whole troop of NSA agents — work inside. Within the intelligence community, this place is known as a sort of European headquarters for the NSA.

    A review of calls made to the remote servicing line showed that it was reached several times from exactly this NATO complex — with potentially serious consequences. Every EU member state has rooms at the Justus Lipsius building for use by ministers, complete with telephone and Internet connections.

    Unscrupulous in Washington

    The NSA appears to be even more unscrupulous on its home turf. The EU’s diplomatic delegation to the United States is located in an elegant office building on Washington’s K Street. But the EU’s diplomatic protection apparently doesn’t apply in this case. As parts of one NSA document seen by SPIEGEL indicate, the NSA not only bugged the building, but also infiltrated its internal computer network. The same goes for the EU mission at the United Nations in New York. The Europeans are a “location target,” a document from Sept. 2010 states. Requests to discuss these matters with both the NSA and the White House went unanswered.

    Now a high-level commission of experts, agreed upon by European Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding and US Attorney General Eric Holder, is to determine the full scope of the routine data snooping and discuss the legal protection possibilities for EU citizens. A final report is expected to be released in October.

    The extent of the NSA’s systematic global surveillance network is highlighted in an overview from Fort Meade, the agency’s headquarters. It describes a number of secret operations involving the surveillance of Internet and international data traffic. “In the Information Age, (the) NSA aggressively exploits foreign signals traveling complex global networks,” an internal description states.

    Details in a further, previously unpublished document reveal exactly what takes place there. It describes how the NSA received access to an entire bundle of fiber-optic cables, which have a data-transfer capacity of several gigabytes per second. It is one of the Internet’s larger superhighways. The paper indicates that access to the cables is a relatively recent development and includes Internet backbone circuits, “including several that service the Russian market.” Technicians in Fort Meade are able to access “thousands of trunk groups connected worldwide,” according to the document. In a further operation, the intelligence organization is able to monitor a cable that collects data flows from the Middle East, Europe, South America and Asia (see graphic).

    But it is not just intelligence agencies from allied nations that have willingly aided the NSA. Revelations related to the Prism program make it clear that agents likewise access vast quantity of data from US Internet companies.

    NSA ‘Alliances With Over 80 Major Global Corporations’
    Heads of these companies have vociferously denied that the NSA has direct access to their data. But it would seem that, outside of the Prism program, dozens of companies have willingly worked together with the US intelligence agency.

    According to the documents seen by SPIEGEL, a particularly valuable partner is a company which is active in the US and has access to information that crisscrosses America. At the same time, this company, by virtue of its contacts, offers “unique access to other telecoms and (Internet service providers).” The company is “aggressively involved in shaping traffic to run signals of interest past our monitors,” according to a secret NSA document. The cooperation has existed since 1985, the documents say.

    Apparently, it’s not an isolated case, either. A further document clearly demonstrates the compliance of a number of different companies. There are “alliances with over 80 major global corporations supporting both missions,” according to a paper that is marked top secret. In NSA jargon, “both missions” refers to defending networks in the US, on the one hand, and monitoring networks abroad, on the other. The companies involved include telecommunications firms, producers of network infrastructure, software companies and security firms.

    Such cooperation is an extremely delicate issue for the companies involved. Many have promised their customers data confidentiality in their terms and conditions. Furthermore, they are obliged to follow the laws of the countries in which they do business. As such, their cooperation deals with the NSA are top secret. Even in internal NSA documents, they are only referred to using code names.

    “There has long been a very close and very secret relationship between a number of telecoms and the NSA,” Bamford, the expert on the NSA, told Die Zeit. “Every time it gets discovered it stops for a while and then starts up again.”

    The importance of this rather peculiar form of public-private partnership was recently made clear by General Alexander, the NSA chief. At a technology symposium in a Washington, DC, suburb in May, he said that industry and government must work closely together. “As great as we have it up there, we cannot do it without your help,” he said. “You know, we can’t do our mission without the great help of all the great people here.” If one believes the documents, several experts were sitting in the audience from companies that had reached a cooperation deal with the NSA.

    In the coming weeks, details relating to the collaboration between Germany’s BND and the NSA will be the focus of a parliamentary investigative committee in Berlin responsible for monitoring the intelligence services. The German government has sent letters to the US requesting additional information. The questions that need to be addressed are serious. Can a sovereign state tolerate a situation in which half a billion pieces of data are stolen on its territory each month from a foreign country? And can this be done especially when this country has identified the sovereign state as a “3rd party foreign partner” and, as such, one that can be spied on at any time, as has now become clear?

    So far, the German government has made nothing more than polite inquiries. But facts that have now come to light will certainly increase pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel and her government. Elections, after all, are only three months away, and Germans — as Merkel well knows — are particularly sensitive when it comes to data privacy.

    The NSA’s Library of Babel

    In a story written by the blind writer Jorge Luis Borges, the Library of Babel is introduced as perhaps the most secretive of all labyrinths: a universe full of bookshelves connected by a spiral staircase that has no beginning and no end. Those inside wander through the library looking for the book of books. They grow old inside without ever finding it.

    If an actual building could really approach this imaginary library, it is the structure currently being erected in the Utah mountains near the city of Bluffdale. There, on Redwood Road, stands a sign with black letters on a white background next to a freshly paved road. Restricted area, no access, it reads. In Defense Department documents, form No. 1391, page 134, the buildings behind the sign are given the project No. 21078. It refers to the Utah Data Center, four huge warehouses full of servers costing a total of €1.2 billion ($1.56 billion).

    Built by a total of 11,000 workers, the facility is to serve as a storage center for everything that is captured in the US data dragnet. It has a capacity that will soon have to be measured in yottabytes, which is 1 trillion terabytes or a quadrillion gigabytes. Standard external hard drives sold in stores have a capacity of about 1 terabyte. Fifteen such hard drives could store the entire contents of the Library of Congress.

    The man who first made information about the Utah center public, and who likely knows the most about the NSA, is James Bamford. He says: “The NSA is the largest, most expensive and most powerful intelligence agency in the world.”

    Since the 9/11 terror attacks, the NSA’s workforce has steadily grown and its budget has constantly increased. SPIEGEL was able to see confidential figures relating to the NSA that come from Snowden’s documents, though the statistics are from 2006. In that year, 15,986 members of the military and 19,335 civilians worked for the NSA, which had an annual budget of $6.115 billion. These numbers and more recent statistics are officially confidential.

    In other words, there is a good reason why NSA head Keith Alexander is called “Emporer Alexander.” “Keith gets whatever he wants,” says Bamford.

    Still, Bamford doesn’t believe that the NSA completely fulfills the mission it has been tasked with. “I’ve seen no indications that NSA’s vastly expanded surveillance has prevented any terrorist activities,” he says. There is, however, one thing that the NSA managed to predict with perfect accuracy: where the greatest danger to its secrecy lies. In internal documents, the agency identifies terrorists and hackers as being particularly threatening. Even more dangerous, however, the documents say, is if an insider decides to blow the whistle.

    An insider like Edward Joseph Snowden.

    07/01/2013 11:11 AM
    By Laura Poitras, Marcel Rosenbach, Fidelius Schmid, Holger Stark and Jonathan Stock

    Find this story at 1 July 2013


    NSA Accused of Spying on EU; President of the European Parliament demands “Full Clarification” From the U.S.

    BRUSSELS—Senior European politicians demanded explanations from Washington of allegations that the National Security Agency spied on European Union institutions, risking a corrosion of trust as the EU and U.S. embark on negotiations over a free-trade accord.

    The German weekly magazine Der Spiegel reported over the weekend that the U.S. placed listening devices in EU offices in Washington, infiltrated computers there and electronically spied on EU bodies elsewhere. It cited secret documents obtained by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden as the basis for its report.


    A former NSA base in Germany. A German politician criticized allegations the U.S. spied on European officials.

    The allegations come at a sensitive time. The EU in June gave the go-ahead for the start of trade negotiations with the U.S., which are likely to start soon. Though the talks are expected to take at least two years, the European Parliament, where many lawmakers are highly sensitive to privacy issues, will need to approve any accord.

    “Partners do not spy on each other,” EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said at a public forum in Luxembourg. “We cannot negotiate over a big trans-Atlantic market if there is the slightest doubt that our partners are carrying out spying activities on the offices of our negotiators. The American authorities should eliminate any such doubt swiftly.”

    Snowden on the Run

    U.S. authorities sought to catch Edward Snowden before he reached his next goal: political asylum in Ecuador.

    French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said his country had formally requested clarification from Washington. “These facts, if confirmed, would be absolutely unacceptable,” he said.

    Germany’s Justice Ministry also called for the U.S. to clarify the matter, and for European Commission President José Manuel Barroso to act. “If the media reports are true, it’s reminiscent of the approaches of enemies during the Cold War. It’s beyond any stretch of the imagination that our friends in the U.S.A. see the Europeans as enemies,” German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said in a statement.

    “Comprehensive spying by the Americans on Europeans cannot be allowed,” she said, adding that it is unlikely the U.S. could justify bugging European diplomacy offices as part of the global fight on terrorism.

    The European External Action Service, the foreign policy arm of the EU whose premises were an alleged target of U.S. surveillance, said the issue “is clearly a matter of concern.” It said the U.S. authorities “have told us they are checking on the accuracy of the information…and will come back to us as soon as possible.”

    The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence said the U.S. is responding to the European Union privately about the allegations.

    The U. S. “will respond appropriately to the European Union through our diplomatic channels,” the office said. “We will also discuss these issues bilaterally with EU member states.”

    The office’s statement didn’t address the specific allegations but said, “We have made clear that the United States gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations.”

    In a separate report Sunday, the Guardian newspaper in Britain said an NSA document lists 38 embassies and missions as “targets” for the agency’s spying, among them the French, Italian and Greek embassies. The article cited information leaked by Mr. Snowden as it source.

    The allegations are the latest to emerge in U.S. and European media about surveillance activities by the U.S. and its closest allies based on Mr. Snowden’s disclosures. Mr. Snowden is at a Moscow airport, arriving there from Hong Kong in a bid to travel to Ecuador, where he has applied for political asylum.

    The lead author of Der Spiegel’s report was Laura Poitras, an American documentary filmmaker who created a video interview with Mr. Snowden, distributed online, in which he described why he released information from some of the NSA documents.

    Ms. Poitras also was co-author of an article in the Washington Post, based on Mr. Snowden’s leaks, about an NSA program to gain access to U.S. Internet companies’ computers in an effort to track online activities of foreigners suspected in terrorist activity.

    Julian Assange, founder of the antisecrecy site WikiLeaks, said Sunday there would be no halting future disclosures from Mr. Snowden. “Look, there is no stopping the publishing process at this stage. Great care has been taken to make sure that Mr. Snowden can’t be pressured by any state to stop the publication process,” he said in an interview with the ABC network from the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he is seeking refuge.

    According to intelligence specialists, the activities alleged in Der Spiegel’s report are similar to previously reported spying efforts among friendly countries. While allies have no intention of attacking one another, they seek information on decision-making within each other’s governments, and as a way to tell whether those governments might be spying on them.

    The NSA raised concerns in 2006 about the merger of French-owned phone-equipment company Alcatel with U.S.-based Lucent because U.S. officials feared the deal would provide the French extraordinary access to U.S. telecommunications systems.

    The NSA raised similar issues more recently over Chinese telecom-gear company Huawei Technologies’ efforts to expand in the U.S.

    The president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, said in a statement he was “deeply worried and shocked about the allegations of U.S. authorities spying on EU offices.”

    The statement added: “If the allegations prove to be true, it would be an extremely serious matter which will have a severe impact on EU-U.S. relations…on behalf of the European Parliament, I demand full clarification and require further information speedily from the U.S. authorities with regard to these allegations.”

    A spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the allegations.

    According to Der Spiegel, an NSA document dated September 2010 showed that the Washington embassy of the European Union was bugged and its computer network infiltrated. Similar measures were taken at the European mission to the United Nations in New York. The document described the Europeans as “targets.”

    In addition, the U.S. bugged EU conversations in Brussels, spying on theJustus Lipsius building, headquarters of the Council of the European Union, according to the report.

    The magazine reported that the NSA saves information on about a half billion phone or Internet connections from Germany every year through its “Boundless Informant” program.

    Only a few countries labeled as close friends by the NSA are largely exempt from its monitoring: the U.K., Australia, Canada and New Zealand, the magazine said. An additional 30 countries are classified as “third party,” with an internal NSA presentation saying the agency is able to intercept signals from these countries and often does, Der Spiegel reported.

    The controversy over the new allegations is reminiscent of the furor ignited in Europe in 2000 by disclosures about the NSA’s so-called Echelon project, which included commercial organizations among its alleged targets, prompting an investigation and report from the European Parliament.

    The report drew a distinction between spying for national-security reasons and for commercial advantage, saying the latter could breach EU law.

    European lawmakers have also expressed disquiet about the sharing of European financial data with U.S. authorities.

    The reports about the NSA’s alleged activities already have prompted Ms. Reding, the EU justice commissioner, to organize, together with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, a panel of experts to find out how much data about Europeans was shared.
    —Stacy Meichtry in Paris and Siobhan Gorman in Washington contributed to this article.

    Write to Stephen Fidler at stephen.fidler@wsj.com, Frances Robinson at frances.robinson@dowjones.com and Laura Stevens at laura.stevens@wsj.com

    A version of this article appeared July 1, 2013, on page A4 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Officials Slam Alleged NSA Spying on the EU.

    Updated June 30, 2013, 7:26 p.m. ET

    Find this story at 30 June 2013

    Copyright 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

    New NSA leaks show how US is bugging its European allies

    Exclusive: Edward Snowden papers reveal 38 targets including EU, France and Italy

    Berlin accuses Washington of cold war tactics

    One of the bugging methods mentioned is codenamed Dropmire, which according to a 2007 document is ‘implanted on the Cryptofax at the EU embassy, DC’. Photograph: Guardian

    US intelligence services are spying on the European Union mission in New York and its embassy in Washington, according to the latest top secret US National Security Agency documents leaked by the whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    One document lists 38 embassies and missions, describing them as “targets”. It details an extraordinary range of spying methods used against each target, from bugs implanted in electronic communications gear to taps into cables to the collection of transmissions with specialised antennae.

    Along with traditional ideological adversaries and sensitive Middle Eastern countries, the list of targets includes the EU missions and the French, Italian and Greek embassies, as well as a number of other American allies, including Japan, Mexico, South Korea, India and Turkey. The list in the September 2010 document does not mention the UK, Germany or other western European states.

    One of the bugging methods mentioned is codenamed Dropmire, which, according to a 2007 document, is “implanted on the Cryptofax at the EU embassy, DC” – an apparent reference to a bug placed in a commercially available encrypted fax machine used at the mission. The NSA documents note the machine is used to send cables back to foreign affairs ministries in European capitals.

    The documents suggest the aim of the bugging exercise against the EU embassy in central Washington is to gather inside knowledge of policy disagreements on global issues and other rifts between member states.

    The new revelations come at a time when there is already considerable anger across the EU over earlier evidence provided by Snowden of NSA eavesdropping on America’s European allies.

    Germany’s justice minister, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, demanded an explanation from Washington, saying that if confirmed, US behaviour “was reminiscent of the actions of enemies during the cold war”.

    The German magazine Der Spiegel reported at the weekend that some of the bugging operations in Brussels targeting the EU’s Justus Lipsius building – a venue for summit and ministerial meetings in the Belgian capital – were directed from within Nato headquarters nearby.

    The US intelligence service codename for the bugging operation targeting the EU mission at the United Nations is “Perdido”. Among the documents leaked by Snowden is a floor plan of the mission in midtown Manhattan. The methods used against the mission include the collection of data transmitted by implants, or bugs, placed inside electronic devices, and another covert operation that appears to provide a copy of everything on a targeted computer’s hard drive.

    The eavesdropping on the EU delegation to the US, on K Street in Washington, involved three different operations targeted on the embassy’s 90 staff. Two were electronic implants and one involved the use of antennas to collect transmissions.

    Although the latest documents are part of an NSA haul leaked by Snowden, it is not clear in each case whether the surveillance was being exclusively done by the NSA – which is most probable as the embassies and missions are technically overseas – or by the FBI or the CIA, or a combination of them. The 2010 document describes the operation as “close access domestic collection”.

    The operation against the French mission to the UN had the covername “Blackfoot” and the one against its embassy in Washington was “Wabash”. The Italian embassy in Washington was known to the NSA as both “Bruneau” and “Hemlock”.

    The eavesdropping of the Greek UN mission was known as “Powell” and the operation against its embassy was referred to as “Klondyke”.

    Snowden, the 30-year-old former NSA contractor and computer analyst whose leaks have ignited a global row over the extent of US and UK electronic surveillance, fled from his secret bolthole in Hong Kong a week ago. His plan seems to have been to travel to Ecuador via Moscow, but he is in limbo at Moscow airport after his US passport was cancelled, and without any official travel documents issued from any other country.

    Ewen MacAskill in Rio de Janeiro and Julian Borger
    The Guardian, Sunday 30 June 2013 21.28 BST

    Find this story at 30 June 2013

    © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.

    NSA-Spähprogramm in Deutschland; Dame, König, As, Spion

    Europa und Deutschland sind Hauptziele der Überwachung durch den US-Geheimdienst NSA. Millionen von Daten werden hierzulande von Obamas Spionen gesammelt. Doch Angela Merkels Regierung wirkt erstaunlich passiv. Warum?

    Berlin – Als Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger kürzlich am Brandenburger Tor der Rede von Barack Obama lauschte, sah man sie in bester Stimmung. Sie winkte mit einem US-Fähnchen, die Worte des Präsidenten zu Freiheit und Gerechtigkeit gefielen der Liberalen sehr.

    Knapp zwei Wochen später ist von der guten Stimmung der Ministerin nichts mehr übrig. Selten hat man sie so verärgert vernommen wie an diesem Sonntag. “Es sprengt jede Vorstellung, dass unsere Freunde in den USA die Europäer als Feinde ansehen”, sagt sie. Sie fühle sich “an das Vorgehen unter Feinden während des Kalten Krieges” erinnert.

    Anlass des Aufschreis der Justizministerin ist ein SPIEGEL-Bericht, der unter Berufung auf Dokumente des Whistleblowers Edward Snowden neue Details der Spähprogramme des US-Geheimdiensts NSA offenlegt. Ob Wanzen in EU-Vertretungen, Lauschangriffe auf Brüsseler Behörden oder das flächendeckende Abschöpfen deutscher Telekommunikationsdaten – der Geheimdienst scheint vor nichts zurückzuschrecken.

    Unter Parlamentariern macht sich Entsetzen über das Ausmaß der Spähattacken aus Übersee breit. Als “Riesenskandal” bezeichnet der Präsident des Europaparlaments, Martin Schulz (SPD), die Vorwürfe. Von einer “unvorstellbar umfassenden Spionageaktion” spricht Grünen-Fraktionschefin Renate Künast, von einer “ernsthaften Erschütterung des Vertrauensverhältnisses” der FDP-Innenexperte Jimmy Schulz.

    Innenminister Friedrich im Wartemodus

    Kritik gibt es aber nicht nur an der Regierung in Washington. Auch das Agieren der Kanzlerin rückt plötzlich in den Fokus. Angela Merkel müsse “den Sachverhalt schnellstens klären”, fordert ihr Herausforderer Peer Steinbrück. Wenn die Kanzlerin nun noch immer behaupte, das Thema gehöre in bilaterale und geheime Gespräche, “dann gibt sie sich der Lächerlichkeit preis”, sagt Künast.

    Es ist Wahlkampf, klar. Aber über die Kritik kann sich die Bundesregierung kaum beschweren. Mit Ausnahme der Justizministerin macht Merkels Mannschaft nicht den Eindruck, als habe das Thema oberste Priorität.

    Vom CSU-Bundesinnenminister ist seit dem Auffliegen des ersten Spähprogramms vor einigen Wochen kaum etwas zu hören. Hans-Peter Friedrich hat kürzlich ein paar Fragen über den Atlantik geschickt und befindet sich seitdem im Wartemodus. Die Kanzlerin besprach das Thema mit dem US-Präsidenten bei dessen Besuch in Berlin. Aber viel mehr als ein paar mahnende Worte, bei modernen Überwachungstechniken stets die Verhältnismäßigkeit im Blick zu haben, sprang dabei nicht heraus.

    Es ist – gerade in der Sicherheitspolitik – nicht ganz einfach, auf Konfrontation mit den USA zu gehen, deutsche Behörden haben zuletzt immer wieder von den Informationen ihrer amerikanischen Partner profitiert. Aber angesichts der neuen Enthüllungen stellt sich die Frage, wie viel Zurückhaltung sich die Bundesregierung eigentlich leisten kann.

    Wie Verwanzungen und flächendeckende Lauschangriffe in Partnerländern noch mit Terrorabwehr rechtfertigt werden sollen, erscheint fraglich. Wenn von einem ausländischen Nachrichtendienst derart systematisch die Privatsphäre der Bürger unterlaufen wird, sind ein paar offene Worte sicher nicht zu viel erwartet. Manche sind man da weiter. Frankreichs Außenminister Laurent Fabius drängte die USA am Sonntag zu einer Stellungnahme, die Brüsseler Kommission ebenso, auch der Generalbundesanwalt schaltete sich in die Spähaffäre ein.

    Wie lässt sich Druck auf die USA ausüben?

    Fragen gibt es genug. Kann es wirklich sein, dass deutsche Dienste von der großflächigen Vorratsdatenspeicherung nichts wussten, wo doch gerade im Sicherheitsbereich zwischen Berlin und Washington ein reger Austausch herrscht? Werden deutsche Bürger aktuell überwacht, und welche Bereiche der Kommunikation sind betroffen? Und was tut die Bundesregierung eigentlich konkret, um das Recht auf informationelle Selbstbestimmung der Bürger hierzulande gegen Angriffe von außen zu schützen?

    Die Zurückhaltung von Merkel und Co. macht inzwischen auch die eigenen Reihen ungeduldig. Als die Bundesregierung im Parlamentarischen Kontrollgremium kürzlich über die Details der US-Überwachung in Deutschland Bericht erstatten sollte, konnten dem Vernehmen nach dazu weder Friedrichs Staatssekretär etwas sagen noch Merkels Geheimdienstkoordinator. Man warte noch auf Antworten aus Washington, hieß es. Auch unter Abgeordneten von Union und FDP machte sich daraufhin Ärger breit. Bis Mitte August soll die Bundesregierung jetzt ihre Hausaufgaben nachholen. Dann tagt das geheime Gremium erneut.

    Schon jetzt wünscht sich mancher aber, dass die Koalition mehr Druck auf die Amerikaner ausübt. Besonders im EU-Parlament gibt es dazu einen Strauß an Überlegungen. Die einen denken darüber nach, Whistleblower Snowden einen Preis zu verleihen. Die anderen wollen die Abkommen zur Übermittlung von Bank- und Fluggastdaten aufkündigen. Und dann ist da noch die Idee, die seit einiger Zeit laufenden Verhandlungen für eine gemeinsame Freihandelszone zwischen Brüssel und Washington zu überdenken.

    Auch in der Union gibt es dafür Sympathien – wohlwissend, dass es sich dabei um ein Lieblingsprojekt der Kanzlerin handelt. “Wie soll man”, fragt Elmar Brok, Chef des Auswärtigen Ausschusses für Auswärtige Angelegenheiten des Europaparlaments, “noch verhandeln, wenn man Angst haben muss, dass die eigene Verhandlungsposition vorab abgehört wird?”

    30. Juni 2013, 18:53 Uhr
    Von Veit Medick

    Find this story at 30 June 2013


    Skype calls’ immunity to police phone tapping threatened

    Skype calls’ immunity to police phone tapping threatened
    Suspicious phone conversations on Skype could be targeted for tapping as part of a pan-European crackdown.

    Suspicious phone conversations on Skype could be targeted for tapping as part of a pan-European crackdown on what law authorities believe is a massive technical loophole in current wiretapping laws, allowing criminals to communicate without fear of being overheard by the police.

    The European investigation could also help U.S. law enforcement authorities gain access to Internet calls. The National Security Agency (NSA) is understood to believe that suspected terrorists use Skype to circumvent detection.

    While the police can get a court order to tap a suspect’s land line and mobile phone, it is currently impossible to get a similar order for Internet calls on both sides of the Atlantic.

    Skype insisted that it does cooperate with law enforcement authorities, “where legally and technically possible,” the company said in a statement.

    “Skype has extensively debriefed Eurojust on our law enforcement program and capabilities,” Skype said.

    Eurojust, a European Union agency responsible for coordinating judicial investigations across different jurisdictions announced Friday the opening of an investigation involving all 27 countries of the European Union.

    “We will bring investigators from all 27 member states together to find a common approach to this problem,” said Joannes Thuy, a spokesman for Eurojust based in The Hague in the Netherlands.

    The purpose of Eurojust’s coordination role is to overcome “the technical and judicial obstacles to the interception of Internet telephony systems”, Eurojust said.

    The main judicial obstacles are the differing approaches to data protection in the various E.U. member states, Thuy said.

    The investigation is being headed by Eurojust’s Italian representative, Carmen Manfredda.

    Criminals in Italy are increasingly making phone calls over the Internet in order to avoid getting caught through mobile phone intercepts, according to Direzione Nazionale Antimafia, the anti-Mafia office in Rome.

    Police officers in Milan say organized crime, arms and drugs traffickers, and prostitution rings are turning to Skype and other systems of VOIP (voice over Internet Protocol) telephony in order to frustrate investigators.

    While telecommunications companies are obliged to comply with court orders to monitor calls on land lines and mobile phones, “Skype’ refuses to cooperate with the authorities,” Thuy said.

    In addition to the issue of cooperation, there are technical obstacles to tapping Skype calls. The way calls are set up and carried between computers is proprietary, and the encryption system used is strong. It could be possible to monitor the call on the originating or receiving computer using a specially written program, or perhaps to divert the traffic through a proxy server, but these are all far more difficult than tapping a normal phone. Calls between a PC and a regular telephone via the SkypeIn or SkypeOut service, however, could fall under existing wiretapping regulations and capabilities at the point where they meet the public telephone network.

    The pan-European response to the problem may open the door for the U.S. to take similar action, Thuy said.

    “We have very good cooperation with the U.S.,” he said, pointing out that a U.S. prosecutor, Marylee Warren, is based in The Hague in order to liaise between U.S. and European judicial authorities.

    The NSA (National Security Agency) is so concerned by Skype that it is offering hackers large sums of money to break its encryption, according to unsourced reports in the U.S.

    Italian investigators have become increasingly reliant on wiretaps, Eurojust said, giving a recent example of customs and tax police in Milan, who overheard a suspected cocaine trafficker telling an accomplice to switch to Skype in order to get details of a 2kg drug consignment.

    “Investigators are convinced that the interception of telephone calls have become an essential tool of the police, who spend millions of euros each year tracking down crime through wiretaps of land lines and mobile phones,” Eurojust said.

    The first meeting of Eurojust’s 27 national representatives is planned in the coming weeks but precise details of its timing and the location of the meeting remain secret, Thuy said.

    “They will exchange information and then we will give advice on how to proceed,” he said. Bringing Internet telephony into line with calls on land lines and mobile phones “could be the price we have to pay for our security,” he said.

    Paul Meller (IDG News Service)
    — 23 February, 2009 09:47

    Find this story at 23 February 2009

    Copyright 2013 IDG Communications

    Brussels failed to act against US surveillance of EU citizens

    European authorities have known since mid-2011 that the US could conduct surveillance on EU citizens. But experts say that European countries had little interest in picking a fight with their ally in Washington.
    There has been widespread outrage in Europe over the scope of the National Security Agency’s PRISM surveillance program. European experts, however, are not surprised by American whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations.
    “What Snowden revealed about PRISM was already known to certain well-connected people for a long time,” Benjamin Bergemann, the author of the German blog netzpolitik.org and a member of the Digitale Gesellschaft (Digital Society) e.V., told DW.
    The European Parliament commissioned a report in 2012, which showed that US authorities could theoretically access European citizens’ data since 2008. The report’s authors were hard on European authorities.
    In the EU, there was no awareness that mass political surveillance was possible, according to the authors of the study. Incredibly, since 2011 “neither the EU Commission nor the national lawmakers nor the European Parliament had any knowledge of FISAAA 1881a.”
    FISAAA 1881a refers to a section of a 2008 amendment to the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. That section of the 2008 amendment empowers US spy agencies to collect information stored in American cloud computing providers.
    The authors of the EU study warned that US authorities had access to the data of non-US citizens in these so-called data clouds. The EU was neglecting to protect its citizens, according to the report’s devastating conclusion.

    Focus on China and Russia

    Europeans had long invested their energy in the fight for consumer protection in the Internet and against cyber crime, according to Julien Jeandesboz of the Centre d’Etudes sur les Conflits. Jeandesboz said that the focus in the EU was not on state-sponsored threats to its citizens.
    The Europeans debated about hackers, identity theft, and the regulation of Internet companies. And in the rare moments when the discussion did turn to state-sponsored activities, the EU’s attention was focused on China and Russia.
    Jeandesboz believes that political motivations explain the EU’s blind eye to US spy activities. The Patriot Act, which gave Washington broad wiretapping authority after the September 11, 2001 attacks, was controversial and publicly discussed in the EU. But while it’s one thing to target cyber criminals, it’s totally different to move against the US government, according to Jeandesboz.
    For most European governments, the US is an important ally and trade partner as well as the world’s leading Internet provider.

    European intelligence agencies complicit?

    According to Britain’s Guardian newspaper, European intelligence agencies may have profited from the Americans’ surveillance activities. The Guardian reported that Britain’s equivalent to the NSA, the GCHQ, appears to have made use of American intelligence gleaned from PRISM.
    Every European user of Facebook and Google should be aware that their data may be subject to PRISM, said blogger Benjamin Bergemann.
    “One could say, ‘what interest does the US have in me?’ But one should not forget that the European criminal justice systems have an interest in such surveillance and so a coalition of interests could form,” Bergemann said.

    EU citizens’ rights violated

    While Internet users in Europe can sue in court for the control of their own data, no such legal right exists in the US. And European law is at a loss when it comes to transnational data transfers.
    According to Nicolas Hernanz, many laws that are passed in the US now also affect EU citizens. Hernanz, with the Center for European Policy Studies in Brussels, said that Europeans’ legal right to control their own personal data is being “thrown in the garbage can” as a result of US surveillance activities.
    US lobbyists have managed numerous times to water down tough data protection provisions in EU treaties, according to Bergemann. He hopes that the importance of data protection and privacy will be reflected in pending EU legislative initiatives.
    Jeandesboz believes that if the revelations about PRISM cannot move the EU to act, then nothing can. While experts thought that such sweeping surveillance was possible, it was not considered likely. Jeandesboz said that Europeans need to stand up for their legal tradition in the face of the US. Otherwise, more civil liberties could be sacrificed for security, he continued.
    “The fear of terrorism and the preventative security concept have reached their high point,” said blogger Benjamin Bergemann.

    Data protection directive

    There are many proposals for how the EU can protect its citizens from US surveillance. But there is little unity in the 27-member bloc. A data protection directive, which is supposed to be passed before the 2014 EU elections, has been vigorously debated.
    EU parliamentarians have proposed several changes to the directive. One proposal would flag American web services, warning EU users that the site is governed by US law and could be under the control of US authorities. Another proposal would extend protection to the whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    Disturbing trends in Europe

    At the very least, political pressure could be placed on the US, if Washington was forced to sign a law enforcement treaty with the EU. But not even that exists at the moment. And experts warn that pointing the finger across the pond is not enough.
    Within the EU, there has to be a discussion about whether or not data protection should be sacrificed to counterterrorism, the experts say. The concept of preventive security is becoming more prominent in the 27-member bloc, according to Bergemann.
    “The telecommunications providers have been forced to set up an electronic interface for the authorities, so that IP addresses can be retrieved,” Bergemann said. “These trends also exist in Europe.”

    Deutsche Welle
    Nina Haase

    Find this story at 11 June 2013

    © 2013 Deutsche Welle

    Völlig unkontrolliert: Brüssel leistet sich einen eigenen Geheimdienst

    Neben der CIA und dem KGB gibt es auch einen eigenen Geheimdienst. Die EU Intelligence Community beschäftigt 1.300 Mitarbeiter und kostet den Steuerzahler 230 Millionen Euro jährlich. Nun regt sich im Europäischen Parlament Widerstand gegen die Truppe. Denn niemand kontrolliert die Spione Brüssels effektiv.

    Parallel zu den nationalen Geheimdiensten in Europa leistet sich auch die EU einen eigenen Geheimdienst. Millionen Euro werden dafür jedes Jahr ausgegeben. 1.300 Mitarbeiter versorgen die EU dafür mit wichtigen Informationen. Eine wirklich effektive Kontrolle gibt es nicht. Transparenz gilt unter Geheimdiensten als Todsünde.

    Insoweit passt diese Einrichtung gut in das bürokratische Schema in Brüssel.

    Brüssel, die Stadt der Lobbyisten, Parlamentarier und – Spione. „Ich denke man kann mit Sicherheit sagen, dass Brüssel eine der größten Spionagehauptstädte der Welt ist“, zitiert der österreichische EU-Abgeordnete Martin Ehrenhauser den Leiter des belgischen Sicherheitsdienstes VSSE in seinem blog. Alain Winants geht davon aus, dass mehrere hundert Spione sich in der EU-Hauptstadt tummeln. Diesem munteren Treiben wollte die EU nicht tatenlos zusehen – und hat mit dem Aufbau eines eigenen Geheimdiensts begonnen.

    Insgesamt sechs Einheiten gibt es in Brüssel, die als EU-Geheimdienst zusammengefasst werden können, die EU-Intelligence Community. Neben Europol und Frontex gehören dazu auch vier nachrichtendienstliche Einheiten, sagte Martin Ehrenhauser den Deutschen Wirtschafts Nachrichten. Diese sind das Intelligence Analysis Center, das Satellite Center, das Intelligence Directorate und der Situation Room. Diese gehören dem Auswärtigen Dienst (EAD) an. 230 Millionen Euro jährlich erhalten die sechs Einheiten des EU-Geheimdienstes aus dem EU-Budget. Dieser Etat „ist über die letzten Jahre kontinuierlich gestiegen, selbstverständlich“, so Ehrenhauser. 1.300 Mitarbeiter arbeiten dort. So hat der EU-Geheimdienst in etwa die Größe „eines Geheimdienstes eines kleinen, mittelgroßen Staates wie Österreich“.

    Jedoch gibt es eigentlich nur für Europol eine rechtliche Grundlage. Das Problem sei vor allem, so Ehrenauser, dass das EU-Parlament kein wirkliches Mitspracherecht bei den Einheiten des Geheimdienstes habe. Jedoch sei eine „parlamentarische, demokratische Kontrolle durch das Parlament dringend notwendig“. Bei Europol und Frontex sei die parlamentarische Kontrolle „relativ stabil“. Bei den vier nachrichtendienstlichen Einheiten sei dies aber so gut wie gar nicht gegeben. Es gebe eine Art budgetrechtliche Kontrolle, aber beim Personal oder dem genauen Einsatz der EU-Mittel könne das Parlament nicht mitreden, sagte Ehrenhauser. Eine entsprechende Initiative des Parlaments für eine bessere parlamentarische Kontrolle sei jedoch kürzlich abgelehnt worden.

    Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten | 08.05.13, 08:57

    Find this story at 8 May 2013

    © 2013 Blogform Social Media

    EU-Geheimdienst: Schwammige Kooperation

    Durch den Sitz der NATO und der EU wurde Brüssel zu einem bedeutenden Schauplatz der Weltpolitik. Die Informationen die in dieser Stadt kursieren sind nicht nur für Frankreich oder Polen von entscheidender Bedeutung, sondern auch für China und den Iran. Die belgische Hauptstadt ist ein europäischer Hotspot für diplomatische Vertretungen, Lobbyorganisationen und Geheimdienste.

    „Ich denke man kann mit Sicherheit sagen, dass Brüssel eine der größten Spionagehauptstädte der Welt ist“, so Alain Winants, Leiter des belgischen Sicherheitsdienstes VSSE. Er schätzt die Anzahl der Spione auf „mehrere Hundert“. Oftmals getarnt als Journalisten, Diplomaten, Studenten oder Lobbyisten umfasst ihr Interesse das gesamte politische Themenspektrum, von der Energie- über Handelspolitik bis hin zur Sicherheitspolitik.

    Mit den wachsenden sicherheitspolitischen Kompetenzen und Bestrebungen der Europäischen Union, sowohl innerhalb als auch außerhalb Europas, hat auch die EU mit dem Aufbau von eigenen nachrichtendienstlichen Einheiten begonnen.

    Die Gründung der „EU-Intelligence Community“ erfolgte ad-hoc und anlassbezogen. Sie folgte keiner Strategie oder einem kohärenten Konzept in Bezug auf Struktur, Methoden und handelnde Personen. Die Gründungsphase begann 1993 mit Europol. Zwischen 2000 und 2004 wurden dann die vier weiteren nachrichtendienstlichen Einheiten aus der Taufe gehoben. Durch Beschluss, Verordnung oder einer gemeinsamen Aktion des Rates. Niemals hatte dabei das EU-Parlament ein Mitspracherecht.

    Einen Sonderfall bildet das Lagezentrum (SitCen), der Vorläufer des Intelligence Directorate (IntDir). Denn die Gründung war lediglich eine Initiative von Javier Solana, dem damaligen Hohen Vertreter der GASP und Generalsekretär des Rates. Es gab keinen Ratsbeschluss. Die Gründung stand damit im Widerspruch mit dem damaligen EU-Vertragsrecht. Denn gemäß Artikel 207 (2) EGV entscheidet der Rat über die Organisation des Generalsekretariats.

    Ungenaue Grenzziehung

    Eine explizite primärrechtliche Grundlage gibt es nur für Europol. Die Gründung wurde im Vertrag über die Europäische Union von 1992 vereinbart und später durch Beschluss des Rates durchgeführt. Die restlichen nachrichtendienstlichen Einheiten finden keine Erwähnung in den Verträgen. Das gilt auch für die Europäisierung der nachrichtendienstlichen Zusammenarbeit. Lediglich in Art. 73 AEUV heißt es: „Es steht den Mitgliedstaaten frei, untereinander und in eigener Verantwortung Formen der Zusammenarbeit und Koordinierung zwischen den zuständigen Dienststellen ihren für den Schutz der nationalen Sicherheit verantwortlichen Verwaltungen einzurichten, die sie für geeignet halten.“ Es existiert somit eine Kooperation ohne klar festgelegte primärrechtliche Grenzen.

    Instabile demokratischer Kontrolle

    Schwammig ist auch die demokratische Kontrolle. Von offizieller Seite heißt es, dass keine Geheimdienste im klassischen Sinne auf EU-Ebene existieren, da keine verdeckten Einsätze durchgeführt werden. Außerdem werde nur „Finished Intelligence“ von nationalen Diensten an die EU-Institutionen übermittelt. Zuständig für die parlamentarische Kontrolle seien somit die nationalen Instanzen – nicht das EU-Parlament.

    Fakt ist, dass die EU-Einheiten immer eigenständiger Informationen sammeln ¬– etwa über die EU-Delegationen oder das Satellite Center (SatCen). Dass die EU zu 100 Prozent von den Informationen der nationalen Behörden abhängig sei, ist damit ein Trugschluss.

    Die EU-Einheiten erfüllen zudem eine ähnliche Funktion wie nationale Nachrichtendienste: Sie sammeln und analysieren Informationen und leiten diese an politsche Entschiedungsträger weiter. Die Tatsache, dass eine Methode (Covert Actions) der Informationsgewinnung nicht unmittelbar angewandt wird, reicht nicht aus um gdie Existenz eines Nachrichtendienstes und damit die Notwendigkeit einer europäischen parlamentarischen Kontrolle zu leugnen. In dubio pro democratia!

    Hinzu kommt das demokratische Grundproblem von „International Governance“: Immer komplexere Entscheidungsstrukturen mit diffusen Verantwortlichkeiten treffen weitreichende Entscheidungen sehr weit weg vom Wähler. Eine Kontrolle durch das EU-Parlament ist daher zwingend erforderlich, auf allen Ebenen. Strukturell, bei der parlamentarischen Mitsprache über Mandat und Leitung, also darüber, was ein Nachrichtendienst machen soll und machen darf und wer dafür verantwortlich ist. Finanziell, bei der parlamentarischen Mitsprache über Budget und Budgetkontrolle sowie Personalausstattung. Juristisch, im Bezug auf die Zuständigkeit von Gerichten, Strafverfolgungsbehörden sowie notwendige Beschwerdemechanismen. Und nicht zuletzt in Bezug auf Qualitätskontrolle und Art der Leistung.

    Mehr Kontrolle? Knapp gescheitert!

    Die parlamentarische Kontrolle der EU-Agenturen Europol und Frontex weist zwar einige Lücken auf, ist jedoch in Summe stabil. Problematischer wird es bei den nachrichtendienstlichen Einheiten im Auswärtigen Dienst (EAD). Unsere Initiative für eine bessere parlamentarische Kontrolle wurde erst kürzlich im Haushaltskontrollausschuss bei Stimmengleichstand knapp abgelehnt. Gefordert hatten wir unter anderem, dass für die vier Einheiten des EAD eine eigene Budgetlinie im Haushalt des EAD eingeführt werden soll. Damit wäre eine konkrete Mitbestimmung und mehr Transparenz möglich geworden. Schließlich ist bisher nicht klar, wie hoch die einzelnen Budgets sind.

    Die einzelnen Abteilungen im Überblick

    Das Kooperationsnetz, das bisher etabliert wurde, umfasst derzeit vier Abteilungen des Europäischen Auswärtigen Dienstes (EAD) und zwei EU-Agenturen, Europol und Frontex. Insgesamt 1300 Mitarbeiter sind beschäftig und ein Jahresbudget von 230 Millionen Euro steht zur Verfügung:

    Intelligence Analysis Center (IntCen)
    Der Vorgänger des IntCen war das Gemeinsame Lagezentrum (SitCen) der Westeuropäischen Union (WEU). Dieses wurde im Jahr 2000 gemeinsam mit dem Militärstab in die EU eingegliedert und ist seit Jänner 2011 Teil des EAD. Sein Budget ist Teil des EAD-Budgets und somit nicht transparent ausgewiesen. Rund 100 Mitarbeiter arbeiten in Brüssel unter der Leitung des Finnen Ilkka Salmi. Überwiegend EU-Beamte und Zweitbedienstete, jedoch auch nationale Nachrichtendienstexperten.
    Die priviligierten Mitgliedstaaten Frankreich, Deutschland, Italien, Niederlande, Schweden, Spanien und Großbritanien entscheiden, welches Land Experten entsenden darf und welches nicht. Die Hauptaufgaben sind die Frühwarnung über externe Bedrohungen und die Risikobewertung für GSVP-Missionen. IntCen ist der Dreh- und Angelpunkt für militärische und zivile nachrichtendienstliche Informationen. Informationen liefern Europol, Frontex, EU-Mission, EU-Delegationen, EU-Sonderbeauftragte, IntDir und viele mehr. Auch nationale Nachrichtendienste liefern auf freiwilliger Basis „Finished Intelligence“. Darüber hinaus reist das Personal selbst in Krisengebiete, zum Beispiel 2011 nach Lybien. Jährlich werden etwa 200 strategische Lagebeurteilungen, Sonderberichte und Briefings ausgearbeitet. Diese Produkte sind klassifiziert bis zur Geheimhaltungsstufe EU TOP SECRET. Darüber hinaus werden Präsentationen und Briefings für Entscheidungsträger angefertigt. Die Produkte werden auch an Europol und Frontex übermittelt.

    Satellite Center (SatCen)
    Es wurde im Juli 2001 gegründet und hat seinen Sitz in Torrejón de Ardoz in Spanien. Später wurde es in den Europäischen Auswärtigen Dienst (EAD) eingegliedert. Rund 108 Mitarbeiter werten bei einem Jahresbudget von rund 17 Millionen Euro nahe Madrid Satellitenbilder und Geodaten aus. Direktor ist seit 2010 der Slovene Tomaž Lovrenčič. Die Rohdaten werden von kommerziellen Partnern wie Indien, Russland oder den USA ankauft oder von den EU-Mitgliedstaaten an das SatCen übermittelt. Damit werden jährlich rund 700 Dienstleistungsprodukte für Entscheidungsträger der Europäischen Union, der EU-Mitgliedstaaten oder auch der UNO und NATO erstellt. Während des „Arabischen Frühlings“ erhielt das SatCen zahlreiche Aufträge von EUFOR Libya und der NATO.

    Intelligence Directorate (IntDir)
    Die Gründung der IntDir erfolgte 1999, volle Funktionsfähigkeit wurde 2001 erreicht. Die Einheit ist im EU-Militärstab angesiedelt, dem „Working Muscle“ der Gemeinsamen Europäischen Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik (GSVP). Dieser ist ebenfalls nun Teil des EAD. Die Hauptinformationsquellen sind klassifizierte nachrichtendienstliche Produkte, die von den militärischen Nachrichtendiensten der Mitgliedstaaten freiwillig über entsandte nationale Experten in der IntDir zur Verfügung gestellt werden. Die Abteilung unterstützt damit die GSVP bei der Entwicklung von strategischen Leitlinien, der Frühwarnung sowie der Planung und Leitung von GSVP-Mission. Derzeit arbeiten 41 Personen in der Abteilung. Der Chef war bis vor Kurzem Günther Eisl, ein Mitarbeiter des österreichischen Heeresnachrichtenamts. Das Budget ist Teil des EAD-Budgets und somit nicht transparent ausgewiesen.

    Situation Room
    Der Situation Room wurde mit der Gründung des EAD im Jänner 2011 etabliert. Head of Division ist der Grieche Petros Mavromichalis. Rund 21 Mitarbeiter arbeiten unter seiner Leitung. Das Budget ist Teil des EAD-Budgets und somit nicht transparent ausgewiesen. Der Situation Room ist der erste „Point of Contact“ für alle Informationen zu EU-relevanten Krisen. Die Hauptaufgabe ist das Krisen-Monitoring, 24 Stunden täglich, sieben Tage in der Woche. Die Informationen erhält der Situation Room von den EU-Delegationen, EU-Missionen, EU-Sonderberichterstattern, den Mitgliedstaaten, aber auch von Internationalen Organisationen.

    Die Gründung eines Europäischen Polizeiamts (Europol) wurde 1992 vereinbart. Seit Jänner 2010 ist Europol eine EU-Agentur. Direktor ist seit April 2009 der Waliser Rob Wainwright. Beinahe 800 Personen arbeiten in Den Haag unter seiner Leitung. Rund 85 Millionen Euro beträgt das Jahresbudget. Zu den Aufgaben zählt das Einholen, Speichern, Verarbeiten, Analysieren und Austauschen von Informationen sowie die Koordinierung, Organisation und Durchführung von Ermittlungen und operativen Maßnahmen. Europol analysiert dabei auch personenbezogene Daten, die von nationalen Nachrichtendiensten und Strafverfolgunsbehörden übermittelt werden. Europol verfügt über zwei Datenbanken. Das Europol Information System (EIS) ist für alle nationalen Polizeibehörden zugänglich und enthält Basisangaben über Personen und Gruppierungen. Die Analytical Work Files (AWFs) sind nur für die Europol-Analysten zugänglich und enthalten sensible personenbezogene Daten von verdächtigen Terroristen. Die Produkte werden als „Operative Intelligence“ und „Strategische Intelligence“ an EU-Entscheidungsträger und an jede Organisation übermittelt, die auch Informationen liefert.

    Die europäische Grenzschutzagentur wurde 2004 gegründet und hat ihren Sitz in Warschau. Unter der Leitung des Finnen Ilkka Laitinen arbeiten 314 Mitarbeiter. 2011 betrug das Budget 118 Millionen Euro. Frontex stellt der EU-Kommission und den Mitgliedstaaten technische Unterstützung und Fachwissen zum Schutz der Außengrenzen zur Verfügung. Die Kernaufgabe ist die Risikoanalyse, inklusive die Bewertung der Kapazitäten, die den Mitgliedstaaten zur Bewältigung von Gefahren zur Verfügung stehen. Die Informationen stammen direkt von den Grenzübergangsstellen oder auch von den Mitgliedstaaten.
    Um die Bereitschaft zur Übermittlung von klassifizierten Informationen mit personenbezogenen Daten zu erhöhen, wurde das sogeannte „Frontex Risk Analysis Network“ (FRAN) eingerichtet. Ein Datennetzwerk, dass Frontex mit den nationlen Nachrichtendiensten und EU-Institutionen verbindet. Auch ähnliche regionale Netzwerke außerhalb der EU werden bereits etabliert. Etwa das „Western Balkans Risk Analysis Network“ (WB RAN). Das Frontex-Lagezentrum ist für das Krisenmonitoring zuständig. Rund 500 Lageberichte werden dort jährlich erstellt und täglich werden Newsletter an rund 350 Empfängerkonten übermittelt. Darüber hinaus erstellt Frontex strategische Bewertungen, Vierteljahresberichte und rund 160 Analyseprodukte zur Unterstützung von gemeinsamen Aktionen.

    Find this story at 6 May 2013

    The EU’s Unofficial Spy Services Are Growing Out-Of-Control

    Brussels, the center of gravity of the European Union and seat of NATO Headquarters, not only teems with lobbyists, diplomats, military personnel, bureaucrats, politicians, Americans, and other weird characters from around the world, but also with spies.

    “Brussels is one of the largest spy capitals in the world,” said Alain Winants, head of the Belgian State Security Service VSSE. He guesstimated that there’d be “several hundred” plying their trade at any one time, chasing after a broad array of topics, from trade issues to security policies.

    Yet officially, the EU itself doesn’t have an intelligence service of its own. It’s dependent on the national intelligence services of the member states that supply it with “finished intelligence.” Officially.

    In reality, it has been building an intelligence apparatus of six services so far, some of them brand new, populated already by 1,300 specialists. But because they’re officially not conducting direct covert operations – though they do go overseas, including to Libya during the Arab Spring! – they simply deny being intelligence services.

    Thus, four of them have finagled to escape democratic oversight and control by the European Parliament. Even in the US, the Intelligence Community is accountable to the Congress. Not so in the EU.

    As everything else in the EU bureaucracy, these services – the newest dating back to 2011 – are constantly growing, assuming more functions, responsibilities, and power, with vast and ever expanding databases at their fingertips, tied into a dense network of other intelligence services. And it’s just the beginning.

    Some Members of Parliament are getting antsy and want to rein them in. Martin Ehrenhauser, independent MP from Austria, and member of the Subcommittee on Security and Defense Policy, is one of the ringleaders; and in his blog post, he details some of the issues.

    Since its founding, the EU has been building its own spy programs, often triggered by specific needs, in an “ad-hoc” manner “without strategy” and without a “coherent concept” about its structure, methods, and people, he writes. This “EU intelligence community” saw its first steps in 1993 with the founding of Europol, the only intelligence service established by treaty, and thus the only one with a legitimate basis. Between the prolific years of 2000 and 2004, four additional intelligence units were cobbled together by the unelected European Council. And another one in 2011.

    Parliament, emasculated by design in the hyper-democratic manner of the EU, was never given an opportunity to be involved. The logic? Since these entities receive only “finished intelligence” from national services, democratic oversight would rest with national parliaments, not with the European Parliament. Alas, these EU intelligence services are gathering their own intelligence to an ever greater degree. Hence, Ehrenhauser writes, the idea that the EU receives 100% of its information from national intelligence services is a “fallacy.”

    The EU intelligence services function similarly to their national counterparts: they collect information, often overseas, analyze it, and transmit it to policy makers. These products can be classified EU TOP SECRET. The mere fact that they might not use covert operations directly to obtain the information, Ehrenhauser writes, is “not sufficient to deny the very existence of the intelligence services and therefore the necessity of democratic controls by the European Parliament.”

    Of the six services, only Europol (intelligence and law enforcement) and Frontex (external borders) are subject to some parliamentary oversight. The remaining four – the Intelligence Analysis Center (IntCen), the Satellite Center (SatCen), the Intelligence Directorate (IntDir), and the Situation Room (crisis monitoring) – are beyond democratic controls.

    All four have been rolled into the European External Action Service (EEAS), which itself was founded in 2011. Some of them don’t even publish their budgets. Though they’re still small, given their youth, they’re destined to grow just like Europol has been growing over its 20 years of existence. They’re already getting tangled up in “ever more complex decision-making structures with diffuse responsibilities,” Ehrenhauser writes, and they’re making “sweeping decisions far away from the voter.”

    Wolf Richter, Testosterone Pit | May 9, 2013, 12:06 PM | 630 |

    Find this story at 9 May 2013

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