Germany puts military exports to Russia on hold
The German government says it isn’t authorizing any exports of military goods to Russia at present “because of the current political situation,” leaving nearly 70 export applications on hold.
The Economy Ministry replied to questions from the opposition Greens that “in critical cases” the government will also ensure previously authorized exports aren’t carried out. The letter, obtained by The Associated Press April 24, was first reported on by daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
The ministry didn’t detail which products or companies are affected but said none of the export applications involves “weapons of war” such as tanks and missiles. It said 69 export applications worth nearly 5.2 million euros ($7.2 million) were pending.
Last month, Germany said it put on hold a company’s deal to deliver the Russian military a field exercise simulator. AP
China splurging on military as US pulls back
China commissioned 17 new warships last year, the most of any nation. In a little more than a decade, China is expected to have three aircraft carriers, giving it more clout than ever in a region of contested seas and festering territorial disputes.
While Beijing still lags far behind the U.S. in both funding and technology, its spending boom is attracting new scrutiny at a time of severe cuts in U.S. defense budgets that have some questioning Washington’s commitments to its Asian allies.
Beijing’s newfound military clout is one of many issues confronting President Barack Obama on a visit to Asia this week. Washington is faced with the daunting task of fulfilling its treaty obligations to allies such as Japan and the Philippines, while also maintaining cordial relations with China. AP