Cooped Up in Leipzig
LEIPZIG/MOSCOW/WASHINGTON (Own report) - The German sociologist of law, Professor Dr. Martin Bennhold, advises that an international lawsuit should be initiated against the development of installations at the Leipzig Airport, in preparation for service in NATO and EU combat missions. According to Bennhold, the "military conversion" is in violation of the 4-plus-2-Accord, which forbids foreign troops and military goods being stationed on and transferred by way of the territory of the former GDR. As confirmed by both the Defense Ministry in Berlin and the Saxonian state government, the Leipzig Airport is being made available for freight transport "in the context of the NATO Response Force (NRF) and EU Battle Groups". The first freight aircraft will be stationed in March, to be able to airlift, in the course of six days, up to 21.000 NATO soldiers and their weapons to theaters of operations anywhere in the world. In an interview with german-foreign-policy.com Prof. Bennhold emphasized that German obligations, under the 4-plus-2-Accord, are still in force, even if the remaining contracting parties (USSR, the USA, Great Britain, France) declare their lack of interest. Moscow not only accepts the forward deployment of NATO and EU troops to Leipzig, but also seeks to be affiliated with the EU's civilian-military aviation complex. Long-term cooperation means a business worth US-Dollar 25 billion. Resistance to the militarization of the region of Leipzig is growing.
According to Prof. Bennhold, it is impossible to harmonize the establishment of the NATO air base in Leipzig with the spirit and content of the agreements setting the terms of the GDR joining the Federal Republic of Germany. The principal contractual agreement ("4-plus-2-Accord") contains "numerous formulations of peaceful obligations", that are in diametrical contradiction to the current redeployment of Russian jumbo transport aircraft to Leipzig. "Article 5" of the treaty is being violated, affirms Bennhold.
Russians are actively participating in the militarization of the Leipzig Airport. The Antonov 124-100 heavy cargo transport planes are owned by a Russian-Ukrainian company. For the NATO operation in Leipzig a special corporation will be created. The second chairman of the "German/Russian business alliance" association in Berlin, has been presented as its advisor. This man had been a (West) German Defense Ministry employee for 30 years, and pleads for a "unified (European) arms industry." The Russian Ambassador is a frequent visitor in the offices of the "German/Russian business alliance" promoting "economic cooperation between Germany and Russia in the technological field." German-foreign-policy.com's press requests for a statement from the Foreign Ministry in Moscow have, for several months, gone unanswered.
The estimated value of the composite NATO contract, for stationing the Russian-Ukrainian jumbo cargo planes in Leipzig, runs between 800 million and 1.2 billion Euros. An even more lucrative business, between the Russians and western aviation enterprises, was initiated at the end of February. This is intended to be a 25 billion dollar "lifelong partnership." For this amount, Airbus, a subsidiary of the military producer, EADS, with more than 50% French-German ownership, wants to develop new types of aircraft with Moscow, including freight transporters. The US company, Boeing, was also in Moscow seeking the same sort of deal. The Leipzig cooperation serves as an initiation project for this competition. If the Russian service for the NATO Response Force (NRF) and EU combat units is satisfactory in Leipzig, the conditions for a consolidation with Airbus, worth billions, will look good - and therefore bad for the US Boeing company. The final decision lies with the Kremlin. Moscow is currently attempting to consolidate all Russian aircraft constructors into a single enterprise ("United Aircraft Construction Corporation"/OAK) - with government shares of at least 75 percent - to exercise dominant control.
It seems not to worry the former predominant power of the Warsaw Pact, that business with the Defense Ministry in Berlin allows the logistics of NATO and the EU to edge forward and makes Leipzig a forward-based turret for military deployments against Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The threat emanating from Leipzig is significant. These Russian produced heavy cargo transporters, stationed at the Leipzig Airport, will be capable of transporting - alongside helicopters, tanks and similar weapons - also a new rocket system to NATO and EU theaters of intervention. These are "mobile launching pads, which through their roll-on/roll-off mechanism are immediately operational for missile attacks when they arrive at the site of operation," explains Lutz Metzger of the Peace Center Leipzig. This ("Medium Extended Air Defense System"/MEADS) system replaces the obsolete Patriot rocket technology and offers the advantage that a "larger capacity is available for the transport of soldiers" explains the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin. "The stationing of the Antonov planes increases therefore the NATO strike capability," explains Metzger in an interview with german-foreign-policy.com.
Numerous regional initiatives are mobilizing against these stationing and development plans. According to their information, the militarization of the functioning of the airport has, in the meantime, also reached DHL, the logistics enterprise. January 2nd DHL signed a service contract with the German Defense Ministry and immediately took over military freight orders. The proceeding expansion of the airport transformation, for which civilian requirements had been used as a justification, has made even non-political residents of the neighborhood fearful for the future of their region. They would be reassured, if, at least, the airport would do something to reduce the noise. But for dealing with the noise in the civilian areas, those in charge, offer hardware stores double-pane windows, which must always remain closed, and wall vents (with fans) for fresh air. "While the military transporters drone outside, we will be cooped up in our homes," prophesied a resident of Schkeuditz.
,  Ausschnitte aus dem "2-plus-4-Vertrag" und eine Dokumentation zuwiderlaufender NATO-Materialien finden Sie im neuen Dossier von german-foreign-policy.com.
,  see also Windiges aus der deutschen Luftfahrt
 Pressemitteilung Ost-West Newsletter 07/2004
 Radio Free Europe, 03.02.2006
 Russian Aircraft Industry Regroups; Financial Post 23.02.2006
 Teilfähigkeitsverlust durch MEADS; SWP Aktuell Januar 2005