Rescue in sight for the Wadan Yards shipbuilding group

Rescue in sight for the Wadan Yards shipbuilding group

Germany and Russia can once again visualise a future for the Wadan Yards shipbuilding group thanks to a new Russian investor. In Sochi, Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev also discussed Opel, while human rights in Russia provided for another topic of the talks.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev walk towards the camera and smile at one another

Angela Merkel and Dmitry Medvedev spoke business

Photo: REGIERUNGonline/Bergmann

Along with his son, Igor Yusofov, Member of the Board of the Russian energy company Gazprom, intends to buy out the insolvent Wadan Yard shipbuilders in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Yesterday they came to an understanding with the receiver regarding the sale of the insolvent company.

"This is the start of a cooperation arrangement which we, as the government, also wish to accompany," said Angela Merkel after talks. She has the impression, she reported, that the new investor is "seriously interested" in the shipbuilder.

The price is reputed to be of the order of 40 million euros. The agreed goal is to retain up to 1,600 of the company's current workforce of 2,500. Before the agreement with the Russian investor can come into force, however, the meeting of creditors must approve it.

Magna is favourite to take over Opel

The negotiations on the future of the stricken car manufacturer Opel was also on the agenda.

"I have made it clear that Germany would very much prefer to see Magna's bid accepted," said the Chancellor. The reason she gave was that Magna is a company that "knows the automobile branch" rather than a purely financial interest.

Magna's bid has a Russian component. The Canadian-Austrian car parts maker intends to take on Opel together with the state-owned Russian bank Sberbank.

Respecting human rights

The Chancellor called on Dmitry Medvedev to ensure that the murders of human rights activists are swiftly found. Everything possible must be done to ensure that those responsible for these "abominable murders" are brought to justice.

Zarema Sadulayeva, head of the Russian NGO "Let's Save the Generation" was found dead along with her  husband on 11 August close to Grozny. The NGO is a humanitarian organisation, which works with children and young people who are victims of the armed hostilities in Chechnya.

Angela Merkel also reminded her audience about the murders of civil rights activist Natalia Estemirova and the journalist Malik Achmedinov, both of which remain unsolved.