×
Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Norway Blocks Sale of Rolls-Royce Engine Maker to Russian Group

Norway will block the sale of a Rolls-Royce engine unit to a Russian firm, citing security concerns. Felix Kästle / dpa / TASS

Norway said Tuesday it would block Rolls-Royce's sale of a Norwegian engine maker to Russia over concerns that Moscow could get its hands on sensitive technology.

The Scandinavian country, a NATO member, two weeks ago asked Rolls-Royce to temporarily halt the sale of Bergen Engines while it examined the consequences a sale would have on national security.

"We now have enough information to conclude that it is absolutely necessary to prevent the sale of the company to a company controlled by a country with which we have no cooperation in the field of security," Justice and Public Security Minister Monica Maeland said Tuesday.

In a statement, the Norwegian government explained that "the technology used by Bergen Engines and the engines it manufactures would be of great military importance to Russia."

"It would strengthen Russia's military capacity in a way that would clearly be contrary to the best interests of the Norwegian and allied security policy," it said.

Bergen Engines, which employs 950 people, has been part of Rolls-Royce since 1999, servicing engines for Norwegian Navy vessels and, according to local media reports, for the top-secret intelligence gathering ship Marjata.

The group reported sales of 279 million euros ($312) in 2019.

The veto risks angering Moscow.

On March 9, when the sale was temporarily halted, the Russian embassy in Oslo criticized the "anti-Russian implications" of the decision.

The proposed buyer, TMH Group, is a privately owned company headquartered in Russia that makes locomotives and rail equipment, with 100,000 employees at 25 sites worldwide.

It said Tuesday it was "very disappointed," insisting it would have been prepared to find solutions guaranteeing the existing naval contracts and Norwegian control of exports.

"We will now go through all the commercial, financial and legal implications that have been caused by the decision of the Norwegian government," it said in a statement emailed to AFP.

The sale of Bergen Engines, for 150 million euros, was to have been part of a two-billion-pound ($2.8 billion, 2.3 billion euros) divestment programme announced last August to strengthen Rolls-Royce's finances.

Norway, which shares a border with Russia in the Far North, generally has cordial relations with its eastern neighbor but they have deteriorated since the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more