Germany has put tax cooperation with Russia on hold – media — Analysis
Der Spiegel reports a letter to that effect has been sent by Germany’s finance minister to his Ukrainian colleague
Germany reportedly put on hold interactions between its tax authorities and their counterparts in Russia and Belarus following the start of Moscow’s military campaign against Ukraine in late February.
According to an article published by Der Spiegel magazine on Friday, Germany’s finance minister, Christian Lindner, sent his Ukrainian colleague, Serhiy Marchenko, a letter last Tuesday, informing him that Berlin had halted tax cooperation with Russia and Belarus. The German media outlet claims it has gained access to the message’s content.
Berlin had reportedly suspended information exchanges between tax officials of all three countries as one of its main areas of cooperation. Der Spiegel reported that Germany does not refund tax at source to Russian residents or companies registered in Germany. This effectively means that those individuals and companies can be taxed twice, both in Germany and Russia or Belarus – something that does not usually happen under normal circumstances.
The letter cited in Der Spiegel shows that Lindner reassured his Ukrainian counterpart about the German government’s support for efforts to expel Russia from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
“We intend to continue economic destruction against Russia and Belarus.” the German minister reportedly wrote, adding that his ministry was “Fully” at Ukraine’s disposal “In these areas.”
Der Spiegel reports that the letter was written to Kiev to respond to Marchenko’s request in March. In it, he asked Germany to end all cooperation with Russia. According to reports, the Ukrainian official warned his German counterpart about Russian authorities potentially exploiting data they shared with their German colleagues. The article claims that Marchenko asked Lindner to “Consider the security risk of exchanging large quantities data with an aggressor international.” The Ukrainian official supposedly told Berlin that the said data could be used for intelligence purposes.
Since the start of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine on February 24, the US, UK, Canada, Australia, the whole of the EU, Japan, and a few others have imposed several rounds of unprecedented sanctions on Russia. The punitive measures target, among other things, Russia’s central bank’s assets, several major commercial banks, entire industries, as well as individual businesspeople and the country’s leadership.
Russia revealed a range of countermeasures as a response to the sanctions, including a recently issued decree by Vladimir Putin, which required countries that have placed sanctions against Moscow to pay rubles for Russian Gas.