Germany Convicts 2 Citizens for Violating EU-Russia Arms Embargo

Germany has convicted two of its citizens on charges of violating the European Union’s arms embargo with Russia, the DPA news agency said Friday, as reported by The Moscow Times.

German investigators said the two defendants sold equipment for missile production to a Russian entrepreneur seven times between 2016-2018, bypassing export checks by using fictitious recipients, Deutsche Welle reported. The Russian entrepreneur reportedly acted as an intermediary who supplied the equipment to a Russian defense enterprise.

A Hamburg court on Thursday found an unnamed 41-year-old entrepreneur from the city of Augsburg guilty of violating the EU arms embargo, DPA reported, citing a court spokesperson. He has been sentenced to 3 years and 9 months in prison and ordered to pay a fine of 8 million euros ($9.5 million).

His co-defendant, a 40-year-old man from Munich, was found guilty of aiding illegal sales and sentenced to two years’ probation. The co-defendant was also ordered to pay an 184,000 euro ($220,000) fine in addition to 150,000 euros ($180,000) for his conditional release.

According to Deutsche Welle, the court said it had insufficient proof that the two men deliberately collaborated with the Russian special services.

The EU embargo was imposed in 2014 in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the eastern Ukraine conflict. The sanctions restrict access to the EU’s primary and secondary capital markets for Russian banks and companies as well as prohibit the import and export of military equipment and dual-use goods that can be used for military purposes.