The alleged discovery of German parts in Russian tanks invading Ukraine has Berlin scrambling for answers and Kyiv demanding that, if German companies can help the Russian offense, the least they can do is also help out the Ukrainian defense, news agency MIA informs.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba made the allegation during a late Sunday broadcast of a panel talk show hosted by Anne Will. He said Ukrainian forces had intercepted Russian infantry vehicles and discovered they were powered by drive units manufactured by German technology company and car component manufacturer Bosch. “Maybe it’s time that we received deliveries of what we need to defend ourselves,” said Kuleba.
Ukraine is in the third week of defending itself from its massive neighbor, with Western nations loath to intervene for fear of inciting a nuclear conflict. Ukraine has demanded that it receive weapons aid for its defense, which has prompted threats from Moscow and worries in the West. Kuleba did say Germany has provided aid to Ukraine, but said his country was hoping for more.
Meanwhile, the search was on to clarify what the Ukrainian soldiers had found. Bosch on Monday denied the allegations that it had supplied parts to the Russian military. It confirmed that the parts were from its production line, but that it had not delivered them to the company that manufactured the Russian vehicles.
Germany’s Economy Ministry said it was reviewing the case, but had no comment for now. As for the German Foreign Ministry, its comment was: “The Ukrainian government has made the federal government aware of individual cases in which products made by German manufacturers have been employed by Russian military forces.” Bosch said that any parts it delivers to Russian carmakers come with a contract dictating that they are exclusively for civilian use.
“As a rule, Bosch does not develop, manufacture or market any weapons as part of its global strategy, nor system or components for military use, nor research and development of military technology.” Sanctions in place since 2014 — when Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula — block the sale of dual-use items to Russia, or items that could be repurposed for military use. The Economy Ministry confirmed it would not have allowed the sale of anything that seemed to have a military use. Those rules were tightened with the new blast of sanctions the West has applied to Russia in the wake of its invasion.
“Indications of sanctions violations are taken very seriously by the federal government, which would pass the information on to the relevant investigative and prosecution authorities,” said the ministry.