“I urge you to immediately stop the dealings with Rosatom”: Speech by Vladimir Slivyak, Ecodefense

Dear Mr Kaeser, dear Mr Bruch, 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 was falsely accused and persecuted by the Russian Government. In 2022, the European Court on Human Rights ruled that the Russian Government violated our rights (see “Ecodefense and others v Russia” 9988/13). Nevertheless, I had to leave Russia along with my colleagues because it became impossible for us to continue environmental and climate defending work. As long as the Russian president Putin is in power, we can’t go back to our home country because it would lead us to prison.

I am shocked by the barbaric Russian war in Ukraine and other crimes conducted by the Russian political elite like the killing of Alexey Navalny. You, Mr Kaeser, said in your speech, that the ongoing war has shown “how wrong our assessment of the situation has been for years, even decades.” You further mentioned, that “the war in Ukraine is a wake-up call for all of us”.

This is partly true. After Russia started its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in early 2022 many European companies left Russia. I was glad when Siemens Energy announced that it is ending its business in Russia. Because continuing business there means continued financial and political support for Vladimir Putin and his insane war in Ukraine. But obviously, the wake-up call was not loud enough for Siemens Energy.

You are still involved in the construction of the Paks II nuclear power plant in Hungary, which is implemented by the Russian nuclear giant Rosatom and financed from the Russian state budget. In fact, this is the only Russian state funded project on the EU territory and Siemens Energy plans to supply instrumentation and control systems for Paks II.

You told me last year, that you want to honor existing contracts. Why do you want to honor a contract with a corporation, which serves as a geopolitical tool of a terror regime?  

Rosatom is a state nuclear corporation serving as a part of government and reporting directly to Russian president Vladimir Putin. It is involved in the war in Ukraine directly and indirectly. Rosatom was assisting the Russian army in the war by sending its staff to help occupy the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and the Chernobyl exclusion zone in Ukraine. It has also offered to procure key goods needed by the Russian army to produce tanks and aircrafts, potentially bypassing existing sanctions. Finally, Rosatom is the producer of Russian nuclear weapons, which the Putin regime regularly threatens to use against Western countries.

But you want to honor this dishonorable contract?

The Rosatom Supervisory Board includes senior government officials sanctioned in numerous countries for their involvement in the war against Ukraine. For example,

  • the deputy chief of presidential administration Sergey Kirienko, responsible for internal politics, presidential elections and the integration of the occupied Ukrainian territories, 
  • the deputy prime-minister Yury Trutnev,
  • the deputy director of the Russian secret service FSB, Sergey Korolev and others.

Just a few days ago, a new investigation revealed, that Kirienko and Trutnev organized a Rosatom-sponsored  fighting squad for the war in Ukraine[1].

But you want to honor this dishonorable contract?

In recent years, the Hungarian government has successfully prevented more far-reaching EU sanctions and measures against the Russian regime in numerous cases. The reason for Hungary’s actions is obvious. Because the country is already heavily dependent on Russian energy imports. And Siemens Energy wants to continue – despite the brutal wake-up call – as a willing henchman to further increase this dependency through Paks-II.

Mr. Kaeser, Mr. Bruch, you have the power to take an important geopolitical instrument out of Russia’s hands. Show that you have really understood the wake-up call.

There is more than enough evidence about the danger and brutality of the Russian regime and its close ties with Rosatom.

I urge you to immediately stop the dealings with Rosatom – whether directly or in cooperation with Framatome. Cooperation with war criminals cannot be part of an honorable business. I call on Siemens Energy to pull out from Rosatom-led project of Paks II.

Dear Mr Kaeser, dear Mr Bruch, I would like to ask you the following questions:

1. Does Siemens Energy still apply for the necessary permission from the German government to export the instrumentation and control systems for two reactors at Paks II? If so, what is the current status of the application? When is Siemens Energy planning to deliver it to Hungary.

2. Does Siemens Energy have existing contracts to supply parts for new nuclear reactors being built by Rosatom?

3. Does Siemens Energy have existing contracts with Rosatom for the modernization and maintenance of nuclear reactors in Russia?

4. Does Siemens Energy directly or indirectly (through French Framatome) supply any parts for any projects of Rosatom’s VVER-1200 reactors? If so, for which projects?

5. For which projects with Russian-designed reactors did Siemens Energy supply any parts in the past?

6. Is there any involvement in the Rosatom-led projects in Turkey (Akkuyu), Bangladesh (Rooppur) or Egypt (El Daabaaa)?

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your attention!

[1] https://istories.media/news/2024/02/20/kirienko-i-trutnev-sozdali-dlya-voini-otryad-iz-sportsmenov-soyuz-vazhnie-istorii-nashli-yego-sponsorov/

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