Russia buys advanced Western technology
Updated: Apr 30, 2022
British Rolls Royce has entered into a contract to sell its subsidiary Bergen Engines, located in Norway. News about corporate takeovers attracts normally little public interest, but this sale has rightfully sparked debate.
Bergen Engines is a company that designs and manufactures high tech diesel engines for both civilian and military purposes. The buyer, The Russian THM International, is a company controlled by Russian oligarchs. Russia struggles to build engines of equal reliability and performance. By acquiring Bergen Engines the THM will gain access to advanced technology the Russians have not yet succeeded to develop themselves. Moreover and equally astonishing, the deal will also give the Russians responsibility for service and spare parts for several Norwegian and NATO ships, an obvious security risk to NATO interests.
Norwegian Coast Guard with engines from Bergen Engines
Norway's spy ship "Marjata", is technically one of the most advanced ships when it comes to military surveillance of Russian activities in the Northern regions. Marjata was equipped in close cooperation with the United States. The military capabilities of Marjata may be a secret, but it has recently leaked to the press that Marjata has engines from Bergen Engines. So have the Navies of Netherland, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand and the US.
US Navy has ordered a total of 20 engines from Bergen Engines. In January this year, the first ship was launched from the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, USA. A US Navy spokesperson made a snap statement claiming US authorities are "aware of the change in ownership of Bergen Engines from Rolls-Royce to TMH." The US Navy will "assess risks and opportunities when deciding whether and how to respond to the sale," according to the US spokesperson, who did not want to be named.
US Navy with engines from Bergen Engines - John Lewis Class
The local Norwegian press raises legitimate security concerns together with the Norwegian Navy and intelligence community. The parliament defence committee has reported the embarrassing consequences regarding undisputable security risks. A conservative MP has stated that failure to stop the sale may call for a no-confidence motion. Even some left wing journalists call for the deal to be cancelled. However, it is an open question whether a globalist and a gullible Norwegian political majority will have the courage to do what is right to protect national and NATO interests. Far too many politicians opt to turn a blind eye..
The fact that Russians, or other non-NATO powers for that matter, are allowed to buy Western technology for military purpose is shameful and proves Western complacency over security issues. On the other hand, this is not an isolated case - it has been going on for decades, not least since President Clinton invited China to join the WTO in 2000.
During cold and hot wars, spies have always gathered intelligence and stolen technology. The globalist new world order causes little interest in national security. Political sentiments have moved from conscientiousness to utter complacency. Western powers have freely given away intellectual capital to sinister nations – both military and civilian. Unfortunately, most Western nations dot not have legislation making a clear distinction between civilian and military technology. Consequently, export licenses are granted on outdated legislation.
I want to add another ironic example to the story. Before Jens Stoltenberg took office as head of NATO he was the Norwegian PM. He slashed defence budgets and decided to close NATO's most northern naval base in 2009. The base, Olavsvern, offered 25000 square meters military stronghold with dry docks capable of accommodating six submarines, among other logistical facilities crucial to the Navy. Due to Mr Stoltenberg’s slashings the Navy sold the base to a private entity. Mr Stoltenberg has been secretary general since 2014, and the irony is that he strongly advocates for increased NATO spending, exactly the opposite of what he did as Norwegian PM. Hypocrisy? Yes, hard to argue against.
Olavsvern was ultimately rented to Russian interests whose spy-vessels then enjoyed unlimited free access to the base and Norwegian waters. Retired admiral Jan Reksten was appalled and stated the following:
Russia is a country where the state has a say over all commercial or semi-state business. Very few people know what happens on these vessels. NATO forces have not only lost an important base but we have granted access to Russian ships.
Olavsvern Dry Dock
Mr Putin is increasingly flexing his muscles in the northern regions both at sea and in the air. The Norwegian Navy is working to regain control of the base. So, there is still some sanity left among the few politicians still having the conviction to address security matters.
Nevertheless, Norway is about to give Mr Putin control to limit the operational capabilities of NATO vessels. He is undoubtedly smiling at Western impotence with a big “thank you very much” on his lips. The Norwegian parliament has the authority to reject the Russian takeover, but there may not be sufficient political courage. Failure to stop the transaction reflects the complacency in both NATO and Western political leadership. Norway and NATO may as well hire Russians vessels to spy on Russians.
Author: franklyThor: - February 26.02.2021
Epilogue: The Norwegian Parliament finally came to its senses and stopped the transaction on grounds of national security in early fall 2021. Bergen Engines was finally sold to British Langley Holdings for 63 million pounds sterling. That is approximately half of what the Russian THM was willing to pay.