Russland-Sanktionen: Habeck vermutet

7 mar 2023 11:48 am

The economics minister insinuates that German companies willfully circumvent the sanctions against Russia. According to Habeck, exports of sanctioned products to certain third countries will only be possible in the future if the companies assure that the goods will not subsequently reach Russia. The trade associations are irritated.

The starting point for Habeck’s most recent initiative are the published figures on German foreign trade. These show that in the past few months, exports have increased by 55 percent to Azerbaijan, 94 percent to Kazakhstan and 130 percent to Uzbekistan. These countries, so they Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), have, according to the government, “developed into a hub for sanctioned products.” It goes on at the FAZ:

“Habeck now wants to take stricter action. In the future, exports of sanctioned products to certain third countries will only be possible if the companies assure that the goods will not subsequently reach Russia. Deliberate violations should be punished as criminal offenses.”

Volker Treier, head of the foreign trade department at the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), cannot understand this perception and the resulting requirements from the Habeck Ministry. He criticizes:

“The submission by the Federal Ministry of Economics would have benefited from a prior thorough analysis of the connections.”

Opposite of FAZ explained Treier said the increased exports to some Central Asian countries were due to the fact that they “previously bought consumer goods or cars from German manufacturers from their Russian plants and now get these products directly from Germany.” This reality therefore does not represent a way of circumventing sanctions, “but exactly the opposite of it,” says Treier. The important and presumptuous point for Habeck, whether these countries would then export more goods to Russia, has “not yet been finally clarified.”

Political discussions in the media, some of which are formulated in the form of direct accusations that “sanctioned components such as chips for use in Russian military equipment are being deliberately removed from non-sanctioned products such as washing machines or refrigerators,” Treier believes, are “exaggerated.” In his estimation, the reality looks like this:

“Russia can get something like this with much less effort, for example from China, the United Arab Emirates or elsewhere.”

The FAZ describes the active topic-related export transactions of German companies as “grey market exports”, in which “conspicuousness” has definitely occurred. The article gives examples from the automotive industry, truck and train brake industries, and chip manufacturers. In doing so, “from the news agency Reuters evaluated customs documents show that semiconductors would “continue to reach Russia” via third-party providers.

Overall, however, it is “still unclear what the tightening announced by Habeck would even mean for everyday business”. Nikolas Keßels, deputy head of foreign trade policy at the Federation of German Industries (BDI), suspected that “probably the companies will write in the contracts with their customers that they have to ensure that the products remain outside Russia.” In contrast, individual explanations for individual deliveries would be “barely feasible”.

More on the subject – What the ten EU sanctions packages against Russia include – an overview

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Deborah Acker

I write epic fantasy; self-published via KDP. Devoted dog mom to my 10 yr old GSD, Shadow! DM not a priority; slow response at best #amwriting #author.

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