We’re big fans of the investigative journalism of Stern’s Hans-Martin Tillack, and have posted numerous translations of his work in the past. Here Tillack takes a look at some of Nord Stream’s odd partners and practices. Gerhard Schröder’s Company and the Sect By Hans-Martin Tillack New trouble for ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s pipeline company Nord Stream: The Gazprom subsidiary has gotten mixed up with a flamboyant Berlin entrepreneur who maintains contacts to the LaRouche sect and acts as the supervisory board chairman of a company that does not exist. Clearly, Manfred Boese is an important man. He has eight different stacks of business cards lined up on his desk. In GDR times, he was a prosecutor; today, the lawyer runs several companies and associations. Anybody who wants to visit him has to pass through the portico of Berlin’s splendid Palais am Festungsgraben, then take a right into Boese’s office, and then, for a start, wait half an hour. Her boss is in a conference with ministers from Russia, the secretary says.
“I have very good contacts in Russia and of course I use them,” says the youthful looking 56-year-old man, when the conference with, he says, the Ukrainian minister is over. Just like he apparently did in his relations with the company Nord Stream. The majority of this company belongs to the Russian monopolist Gazprom, has a certain Gerhard Schröder as head of the shareholder committee, and would very much like to build a gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea. Boese in turn wants to work “closely” with the pipeline company. This is at any rate the goal of the International Institute of Ecological Safety for Baltic and Northern Seas, which Boese founded in summer 2006.Environmental Protection as a Pretext for Lobbying?With the participation of Nord Stream, the institute organized a conference in Berlin in March of last year. A Russian friend had encouraged him to become active, says Boese. Namely, Tengis Borisov, navy admiral of the reserve and “Hero of the Russian Federation.” The Boese institute wants to point out the threat to the Baltic Sea that exists due to the German chemical weapons that were dumped there after the Second World War. In other words: the threat the Baltic Sea that exists because the Americans and the British are allegedly keeping quiet abut where they sank the Nazi waste after the war. Unlike the Russians, who have “abandoned” the cartel of silence, as Boese stresses with praise.The lawyer now wants to draw the Bundestag’s attention to the problem. He has already met with many representatives, and several are “very open-minded.” In spring, there could be a hearing in parliament, the institute director hopes. At any rate, the goal of the Berlin institute, which for the sake of simplicity resides in Boese’s practice, must come at the right time for Nord Stream. For the pipeline company is already having to struggle with accusations that its construction work could stir up the poisonous waste on the seabed.Contradictory DenialsNord Stream Manager Barbara Kallnik at any rate liked acting as a “delegate” when Boese summoned the conference in March. For an additional participant, it seemed “completely clear that it was a Gazprom event.” According to Walter Karpf from the Society for the Protection of See Mammals at any rate. “The Russians acted in a very organized fashion there,” recalls Karpf. Among them were even a Russian deputy minister as well as an ex-cosmonaut and “advisor to the Russian president.” The lawyer was markedly cordial in bidding farewell to Nord Stream Manager Kallnik, Karpf recalls: “Give my regards to the management!” he called after her. Boese does not deny this, but allegedly bore the conference costs of €15,000 solely on his own.Nord Stream spokesman Jens Müller insists that his company in no way works together with Boese’s institute. That Kallnik spoke at the conference allegedly represents only an “attempt to bring reality into the discussion.” Boese likewise vehemently disputes that he acts on Gazprom’s behalf. However, he disputes as well that the deputy chairman of the institute is named Tamara Lavrovskaia although the Moscow economist holds precisely this post according to the register of associations. Just as four of the eight founding members come from Russia in general. Among them is the Moscow company of a certain Ivan Mazur. A man of the same name runs the Russian pipeline construction company Rosneftegazstroy. But, says Boese, “the man is not very active here.”It is clear that Boese has many other interests in addition to his activism on behalf of protecting the Baltic Sea. With his company Osiramed, he distributes cell activators for “magnet field therapy” as well. And not only have CDU politician Jörg Schönbohm and Left Party leader Gregor Gysi already been guests at events organized by his Berliner Salon, so has American Lyndon LaRouche, whose wife Helga Zepp-LaRouche runs Germany’s “Civil Rights Movement Solidarity,” which is considered a political cult. At any rate, Lyndon LaRouche was allowed to give a long speech at Boese’s Berliner Salon in December 2003. A certain Frank Hahn of the Schiller Institut, which is attributed to LaRouche, published in Boese’s magazine Berliner Salon a full page article promoting closer cooperation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.The “World’s Largest Satellite Project”For his part, Boese has not only Russia and the United States in view, but space as well. Namely, he is also supervisory board chairman of Leo Sat Courier AG, one of the “world’s largest satellite projects,” as he himself says. The joint stock company would like, for example, to send telecommunication satellites into space with Russian rockets. At any rate, Boese’s partner Hans-Holger Kirchhoff has been saying that for almost ten years already.That is to say that the company has grand plans, but also a small blemish: It does not even exist. Neither in Germany, nor anywhere else is it to be found in commercial registers. “It is still in the start-up phase,” says Boese. On a Web site, the company, however, says that it was already founded in September 2005.The establishment of a joint stock company is complicated, says Boese. On the other hand, it is apparently simple to be invited everywhere over and over again as chairman of the supervisory board of the Leo Sat Courier AG, for example, in the last few days to the German-Arab Economic Forum of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Or to Abu Dhabi in December 2006 as a participant in a delegation of the Federal Economics Ministry. For that trip, State Secretary Bernd Pfaffenbach also had Boese on board.That the company does not exist somehow went unnoticed in the Economics Ministry of Michael Glos (Christian Social Union). If an entrepreneur shows “serious interest,” he can come along, explains a Pfaffenbach staff member. The company people of course fly along at their own expense. “The Economics Ministry does not require that entries from the commercial registries be presented,” says the ministry official.That is to say, there is no problem, if one doesn’t have such an entry.