According to Stratfor Global Intelligence, a German private defense company Rheinmetall has contracted with the Russian Defense Ministry to build a training facility for Russian troops at the military base at Molino near the city of Nizhny Novgorod. This base will be capable of training brigade quantity (thousands of soldiers) at a time.
This cozying up between Germany and Russia is bound to cause nervousness to the countries between them, such as the Baltics, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and others. It’s a reminder of the Molotov-Ribbendrop pact and when Stalin's USSR allowed the Weimar Republic to build up and train the military that had been restricted by the Treaty of Versailles.
There is concern also with Germany's NATO allies who see this as a possible distancing from the pact.
Stratfor article maintains that Rheinmetall is a private firm that takes pains in explaining that it is defense oriented.It is Europe's top supplier of defense technology and security equipment for ground forces. It specializes in armour, gunnery, propellants and munitions manufacturing but has a broad portfolio involving training and simulation solutions plus command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, target aquisition and recconaissance, all which Stratfor says is of particular interest for Moscow. Rheinmetall training systems are used throughout the world with countries like India and Norway using naval and armoured vehicle simulators. Rheinmetall is the first foreign firm to build a training centre in Russia.
Rheinmetall has also been invited by the Russians to handle the support, repair and modernization of military equipment, and its mobile ammunition disposal systems would be available for Russia to buy.
There are other areas were there are German-Russian co-operation. According to Stratfor sources, the Germans are going to help the Russians train border guards in Tajikistan on the Tajik-Uzbek border.
It was noted that during the August 2008 conflict between Russia and Georgia, Russia defeated Georgia quickly but with operational difficulty, requiring organization and training. Now that Russia has oil money it can buy the training from "the west". We hope this doesn't come to bite Germany.
German defense company to set up training operation in Russia for Russians