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Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Delivers Remarks Following Meeting with German Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann


Washington, DC
United States

Remarks as Delivered

I was supposed to say good afternoon, but I have ten minutes to spare here, so good morning.

Just now, Minister Buschmann and I met to reaffirm the importance of the law enforcement partnership between our two countries.

During our meeting, we discussed the necessity of robust cooperation between the United States Department of Justice and the German Ministry of Justice in countering a wide range of threats to the security of both of our countries and to the Rule of Law.

That includes the threat posed by Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. 

Yesterday, the Justice Department unsealed an indictment in the Eastern District of New York against five Russian nationals and two oil traders charged with a global sanctions evasion and money laundering scheme that operated between January 2018 and September of this year. On Monday of this week, our partners in Germany arrested one of the defendants, Yury Orekhov. We are grateful for our partner’s work.

The indictment alleges that he and a co-conspirator sourced and purchased sensitive military and dual-use technologies from U.S. manufacturers and shipped them to Russian end users, including sanctioned companies that serviced Russia’s defense sector. 

Those technologies included advanced semiconductors and microprocessors that are used in fighter aircraft, missile systems, smart munitions, radar, satellites, and other space-based military applications. 

Some of the same electronic components obtained through this criminal scheme have been found in Russian weapons platforms on the battlefield in Ukraine.

I would like to express our gratitude to the German Ministries of Justice and Interior for their many valuable, invaluable, acts of cooperation on this and on other cases related to sanctions evasion and Russian illicit finance.

Minister Buschmann and I also discussed the urgency of pursuing every avenue of accountability for those who commit war crimes and other atrocities in Ukraine.

Earlier this year, I announced the launch of the Department’s War Crimes Accountability Team to centralize and strengthen our work to hold accountable those who have committed war crimes in Ukraine. Last month, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Kostin and I signed a memorandum of understanding here in Washington to streamline our efforts to investigate war crimes and other atrocities.   

The Justice Department will continue to be relentless in our efforts to hold accountable perpetrators of war crimes and other atrocities in Ukraine.

We are committed to finding ways to expand our cooperation with our German partners in these efforts. We discussed those today,

And we are committed to continuing to work closely with our international partners to defend democracy and to uphold the Rule of Law.

Thank you, Minister Buschmann, for your partnership.

Updated October 20, 2022