German manufacturer revealed as Russian defence industry supplier
Photo: Niles-Simmons

Machine tools made by Germany’s Niles-Simmons-Hegenscheidt (NSH) corporation are used by Russian defence companies—even those that have been under Western sanctions for years, an investigation by American channel PBS has revealed.

One of the NSH machine tools has been recently featured in a commercial for the Chelyabinsk tractor plant, which manufactures dual-purpose diesel engines and is part of the Russian tank manufacturer Uralvagonzavod.

The EU imposed sanctions on Uralvagonzavod after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, although the US imposed them back in 2014.

Since the Niles-Simmons machine tool manufacturing plant is located in Chemnitz, Germany, and the NSH corporation is American, its products must be subject to US export controls.

This, however, did not stop the German company from selling the machine tools to Russia, PBS reports.

NSH uses intermediaries to circumvent US export controls, including the Swiss company Galika AG, which bought German machine tools in Europe, sent them to its Russian subsidiaries, and then participated in tenders of Russian arms manufacturers.

Earlier this year, Ukraine was the first country to impose sanctions against the Russian companies Galika-MET, Galika-SKD, Galika-Service, and Galika-Centre of Technologies and Service, which specialise in the wholesale trade of metalworking machines and integrated military and dual-use goods and services in Russia.

NSH Group claims that since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, it has stopped trading with Russia.

However, figures reveal that another company in the corporation, the German Hegenscheidt-MFD, made at least 40 shipments to Russia during the first year of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine, totalling USD 17 million.