Germany suspends military contract with Russia over Ukrainian crisis
The German Government has ordered defence contractor Rheinmetall to suspend deliveries of combat simulation gear to Russia, in response to the latter's annexation of the Crimean peninsula.
The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy said that the export of the combat training centre to Russia is considered to be inappropriate in the current circumstances.
"The federal government is in contact with the company. At the moment no exports are planned," the ministry commented.
"The company will inform the federal government in time if exports are to be made, so that the federal government can take the required steps, if necessary, in the light of further developments."
The €100m contract was signed in 2011 and required the Dusseldorf-based defence giant to supply a live combat simulation centre to the Russian Army, which could train up to 30,000 soldiers annually.
The contract, which was due for completion this year, also included technical implementation of aspects, including the commissioning of the 500km² simulation-supported training centre in Mulino in the Volga region, quality assurance and defence news reports.
Rheinmetall had earlier pledged to honour its contractual obligations; however, the company has been unavailable for comment.
Germany had already joined its Western allies in imposing a first level of sanctions on Russia, such as travel bans, asset freezes and suspension of visa talks, claiming that Moscow's actions in the Ukrainian break-away peninsula "violate international law".
In addition, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to discuss harsher penalties against the Putin regime with the European Union leaders at a two-day summit, which starts today in Brussels, Belgium, Reuters reports.