“I urge you to immediately stop doing business with ROSATOM!”: Speech by Vladimir Slivyak, Ecodefense Russia

Vladimir Slivyak, founder of Ecodefense and Alternative Nobel Laureate, speaks at the 2023 Annual General Meeting of Siemens Energy, Klara Butz of urgewald is translating. Photo: Ethical Shareholders Germany

Dear Mr. Bruch, dear Mr. Kaeser,
dear members of the Managing Board and Supervisory Board,
dear shareholders,

My name is Vladimir Slivyak, I work for the Russian non-governmental organization Ecodefense, which has been campaigning for safe energy and climate protection for over 30 years. Because of this work, Ecodefense has had to defend itself for many years against false accusations by the Russian government. Among other things, we have brought court cases before the European Court of Human Rights. I left Russia in 2021 because it was simply not possible to continue our work from that point on. I currently live in Germany and will not return to Russia as long as President Putin is in power, because my path would probably lead directly to prison. Just like the rest of the European community, I am shocked by the barbaric Russian war in Ukraine.

Any kind of business with Russian companies, especially in the energy sector, means additional money for the regime and the war. Therefore, I am happy about every European company that has stopped doing business with Russia. Siemens Energy has also announced that it is ending its business in Russia. But I don’t understand why Siemens Energy continues to work with the Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom and various subsidiaries. For example, Siemens Energy is still involved in the construction of the Paks II nuclear power plant in Hungary, which is financed from the Russian state budget. If I understand your response to the Critical Shareholders’ countermotion correctly, all that is stopping you from supplying further components for this project are permits from the German Federal Office of Economics and Export Control that have not yet been granted. Don’t you see the damage they are doing by helping Russia decisively increase its influence over EU member Hungary through Paks II? Why do you think Prime Minister Orban is threatening to block all nuclear sanctions requests when they are urgently needed to stop Russia’s geopolitical power drive?

ROSATOM is not just an energy company, but an association of more than 350 companies active in all areas of nuclear energy. Rosatom was founded in 2007 by the Russian government and reports directly to President Putin. No other company is currently building more nuclear power plants around the world than Rosatom. Almost all the costs of these operations are paid for from the Russian state budget. By financing and building new reactors, Rosatom creates a dangerous dependence on Russian technology and know-how, Russian loans, and Russian fuel supplies. This allows the terrorist regime to secure political influence in many parts of the world for many decades.

But that’s not all: ROSATOM is also responsible for the development, production and maintenance of Russian nuclear weapons, which the Kremlin has threatened to use on many occasions to bolster its own claims to power.

According to a recent Washington Post article, ROSATOM is also a supplier to several Russian weapons manufacturers whose products have murdered many thousands of Ukrainians, women, men, and children since February 2022. Nearly fourteen years ago, then Siemens CEO Peter Löscher entered into a nuclear energy partnership with then ROSATOM CEO Sergei Kirienko. The latter is now not only chairman of the supervisory board of ROSATOM, but also deputy head of the Russian presidential administration and thus Putin’s right-hand man, so to speak. In various media, he has been dubbed the viceroy of the Donbass because he is obviously Putin’s man for the occupied territories. Kirienko has been subject to EU, UK, and US sanctions since Nawalny’s poisoning. You know all too well who you are dealing with.

According to the Washington Post report, ROSATOM operatives were in charge of the occupation and shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and its illegal appropriation by Russia.

Does all this sound to their ears like the description of an honorable business partner or more like an indictment for the International Criminal Court? If you feel the same way as I do, I urge you to stop the dealings – whether directly or in cooperation with Framatome – immediately. Cooperation with war criminals should be unacceptable for any European company, and it is highly disturbing that Siemens Energy is still involved in such cooperation.

I would also like to ask you the following questions:

  1. Does Siemens Energy intend to continue its cooperation with Rosatom in the construction of the Paks-2 nuclear power plant? If so, when will the instrumentation and control systems for two reactors there be delivered?
  2. Does Siemens Energy have existing contracts to supply parts for new nuclear reactors being built in Russia?
  3. Does Siemens Energy have existing contracts with Rosatom for the modernization and maintenance of old nuclear reactors in Russia?
  4. Does Siemens Energy directly or indirectly (through French Framatome) supply parts for the Rooppur NPP being built by Rosatom in Bangladesh?
  5. Does Siemens Energy directly or indirectly (via the French Framatome) supply parts for the Akkuyu NPP being built by Rosatom in Turkey?
  6. Does Siemens Energy directly or indirectly (through the French Framatome) supply parts for the El Dabaa NPP in Egypt, which is being built by Rosatom, or does Siemens Energy intend to supply such parts?
  7. Does Siemens Energy directly or indirectly (via the French Framatome) supply parts for the Chinese nuclear power plants Tianwan and Xudapu, which are being built by Rosatom, or does it intend to supply such parts?

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your attention!

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