DMG Mori, a German-Japanese company and one of the world’s largest producers of machine cutting tools, has continued to do business with Russian firms that manufacture military hardware, according to an investigation by the independent Russian news agency Agentsvo released on Sept. 27.
Despite promises to halt its work in Russia and withdraw from the country after the beginning of the full-scale invasion, DMG Mori maintained its factory in Ulyanovsk, Russia, Agentsvo found.
The tools created by DMG Mori are used by the Russian military industry to create engines for military aircraft, as well as the aircraft themselves. Local Russian manufacturers do not have the capacity to produce these tools themselves at scale, which is why DMG Mori has remained crucial to the Russian military, according to the investigation.
On Sept. 20, Ukraine’s National Corruption Prevention Agency (NACP) added DMG Mori and other international companies to the list of war sponsors and sanctions evaders.
As with many other international companies that have continued to do business with Russia despite sanctions, Agenstvo alleges that DMG Mori uses intermediary entities as a means of disguising that the ultimate partner for goods and services is located in Russia.
After the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Andrei Sokolov, the head of the Russian entity of DMG Mori, received Israeli citizenship along with his family, changed their names, and relocated to Germany.
In an interview with the German paper Tagesspiegel, Sokolov’s wife Natalya Goldman (formerly Sokolova) stated that she and her husband opposed the war, and that she had pleaded with Andrei not to go to anti-war protests in Russia.
Nonetheless, DMG Mori remained under Andrei Goldman-Sokolov’s leadership from their new residence in Germany. In a conversation with Agenstvo, he confirmed that he still worked for DMG Mori in Germany, but declined to answer any further questions.
Violating sanctions, even indirectly, is a crime in Germany, and can result in a prison sentence of three to ten years if convicted, as well as a potential fine of up to 500,000 euros for individuals, or 10 million euros for a company.