MH17: Berlin Knew Ukraine Flight Risks Before Crash – Media

MH17 flight recovery team members erect a  No Trespassing sign in an area of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 plane crash in the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine

The German authorities knew the risks of flying over war-torn east Ukraine before Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot out of the sky last year but did not inform the airlines, local media reported Monday.

A diplomatic cable by Germany’s foreign ministry a few days prior to the crash warned the situation in eastern Ukraine was “worrying,” and that a transport plane was shot down in the same area at more than 6,000 meters altitude, but never notified the Transport Ministry and the airlines, Zuddeutsche Zeitung reported.The foreign ministry report quoted aviation experts as saying that it took a special type of weaponry to shoot down a plane flying that high.

Investigators are still trying to determine who was responsible for downing the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 in Ukraine’s Donetsk region in July last year, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board.

The day of the MH17 crash “three Lufthansa aircraft also flew over the area, including one only 20 minutes before Flight MH17,” Suddeutsche Zeitung said in extracts of an article published Monday.

The German Foreign Ministry has not commented on the information and the Federal Ministry of Transport told Zuddeutsche Zeitung that the government had no information on increased dangers to civil aviation over Ukrainian territory prior to the Malaysian Boeing crash.

The Netherlands earlier this month released 569 documents related to the downing of the Malaysian jetliner, but 147 remain classified.


Berlin blocks military agreement between France and Saudi Arabia

Berlin blocks military agreement between France and Saudi Arabia

19.08.2013 Arms-expo
Berlin continues to block the military agreement between France and Saudi Arabia for the supply of armored vehicles and air defense systems. Earlier, Saudi Arabia ordered:

264 armored vehicles Nexter Aravis
15 ambulances Lohr
68 mobile air defense systems Lohr MPCV with anti-aircraft missiles Mistral SRAD

But German authorities stopped the implementation of the contract by means of the ban sale of chassis c Unimog 5000, which is used in these complexes. To sell abroad Unimog 5000 chassis for use in the army and security forces, it needs official permission of Berlin, the publication ArmyRecognition said. The contract with Lohr would be approved September 15, 2012, with Nexter – October 15, 2012.

As a result, both companies now can not begin to build these cars and came to a rather complex situation with Saudi clients. Permission was not granted by the German government “on humanitarian grounds” . Berlin refused to assist the sale of armored vehicles, citing the fact that Riyadh could use them to suppress popular uprisings, according to “Les Echos”.

The specialists of the French company Lohr, are now actively searching for a replacement chassis or another way out of this situation. Negotiations are under way with other potential suppliers.

The complex MPCV (Multi-Purpose Combat Vehicle) is a mobile launcher and machine control on the chassis of Mercedes Unimog 5000 with the installation of missiles Mistral. The fact of the contract with the company Lohr for sale of air defense systems surprised many experts.

As the mobile base to mount guidance systems and rocket Mistral, were selected the previously unknown armored vehicle SOFRAME

The controversial arms deal: Berlin approved the sale of 164 tanks to Indonesia

The controversial arms deal: Berlin approved the sale of 164 tanks to Indonesia

vpk. 13/05/2013
German publication Spiegel reported May 7, 2013, that the German federal government has acknowledged that it had agreed to sell modern battle tanks to Indonesia. 104 main battle tank Leopard 2 and 50 Marder infantry fighting vehicles can be delivered to this country.

The federal government agreed to this controversial deal to help the German war industry to overcome the crisis in which it is . This fact gives the German company Rheinmetall license to export 104 Leopard 2 tanks, four recovery vehicles and three bridgelayers on tank base to Indonesia. Previously, about the pending deal agency Reuters reported.
On the possibility of a deal with Indonesia were stated during the visit of German Chancellor to the country in the summer of 2012, when the government of Indonesia is quite openly stated its interest in the German military technology.
However, human rights activists were alarmed. Indonesia is not a country a model of democracy, it is among the 100 countries listed in the index of corruption, Transparency International, Amnesty International said on mass violations of human rights in some provinces.