Berlin wants tighter customs control to enforce anti-Russia sanctions
Germany wants to enforce anti-Russian sanctions by imposing stronger control on its customs in a bid to further undermine Russia.
German Economy Minister Robert Habeck revealed Friday that he is seeking to strengthen customs control to prevent the dodging of anti-Russian sanctions.
"If this is used in a targeted manner, we can strengthen the joint clout of our authorities," he told the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper, alluding to how German international trade legislation authorizes the customs office to conduct company audits.
Habeck mentioned Denmark as an example of a country that adequately uses customs information provided by its firms to detect evasion of sanctions.
"Danish customs analyze trade flows and customs data very precisely for anomalies. If they are found – for example, a large amount of certain goods that used to go to Russia are now suddenly to be delivered to another third country in almost the same amount - that's a reason for checking," he said.
Habeck underlined that after finding an anomaly of the sort, customs should request a relevant company to provide an explanation.
"It is unacceptable when sanctions are circumvented … Therefore, we have to tackle the issue much more vigorously and decisively. Last but not least, we owe that to the people of Ukraine," the minister added.
The German minister urged this week for sanctions against European countries that receive nuclear fuel for their power plants from Russia.
This comes a month after a New York Times article said Rosatom, the Russian nuclear firm, remains a key source of energy for Europe.
NYT also reported that cutting ties with the Russian nuclear corporation would be detrimental to the development of the nuclear sector around the world; the nuclear supply chain is so intricate and interdependent that creating a new sector while factoring out Russia's capacities would be very expensive and time-exhaustive, the NYT article added.
According to the newspaper, Russia holds an especially significant standing in the world nuclear fuel market since it owns 38% of the world's uranium conversion and 46% of the world's capacity for uranium enrichment.
Back in February, the EU initiated a tenth sanctions package which included four additional banks, as well as 130 individuals and entities. However, neither this sanctions package nor any sanctions package hitherto has included direct restrictions on Rosatom.