MOSCOW, August 5 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Defense Ministry is preparing documents in order to sue Germany’s automotive components and defense equipment manufacturer Rheinmetall over the cancelation of a $134-million joint project to build a combat training facility in Russia, Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.
“Of course, this is all regulated with the conditions of the contract, and of course we will defend our interests. I’m not currently acquainted with the details in the contract, but the orders [to launch a court case] have already been given,” Borisov said.
The contract was canceled in light of sanctions imposed by the European Union against Russia.
German Economic Affairs and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel revoked the former economy minister’s permission for Rheinmetall to build a combat training facility in the Russian city of Mulino.
Borisov stressed the Mulino facility will not be affected by Rheinmetall’s failure to deliver on its contract obligations. He said that Russia-made hardware will be installed instead of what was to be imported from Germany.
“We won’t lose much as a result of this. The Mulino center will not be left without military training – everything will be equipped,” the deputy minister said. He added the irreplaceability of the German hardware was dubious.
Under the terms of the contract, Russia is now eligible for reimbursement, Yuri Borisov said. “Rheinmetall knows about these risks and it is now working to open the [German] government’s eyes to them,” he noted.
The facility in Mulino was supposed to start operating this year, with up to 30,000 troops training there annually. Initially, German authorities intended only to suspend the deal, but these efforts failed.
On Monday, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Russia should issue a response to western sanctions and start replacing all imports.
The United States and the European Union have already imposed targeted sanctions against a number of Russian officials and companies, accusing Russia of meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs. The list of sanctions targets has been growing since Crimea reunited with Russia in March.
Moscow has stated repeatedly that imposing sanctions against Russia will have a negative effect on the economies of countries that impose them and called the language of sanctions counterproductive.