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31 Mai 2023

Mathias Glistrup,
Thomas Gösta Svensson, Danwatch

Russia: Rockwool’s distributor allegedly supplies materials used in Russian frigates that carry hypersonic missiles; incl. co. comments

Rockwool’s new controversy: Used in Russian frigates carrying hypersonic missiles, 31 May 2023

Off the coast of Syria and near Norway's border in the Arctic sail three frigates that are of utmost importance to Russia's maritime power.

The frigates belong to the Admiral Gorshkov class, which are renowned and highly advanced ships in the Russian Navy. Equipped with Russia's new Zircon hypersonic cruise missiles, they have the capability to strike targets up to 1,000 kilometers away.

Based on official documents that Danwatch and Ekstra Bladet have obtained, we can now reveal that these frigates are built using products from the Danish Rockwool Group.

For the past months Danwatch and Ekstra Bladet have covered how large parts of the Russian Navy is insulated with Rockwool. These three frigates represent the most significant, prestigious, and crucial Russian project that is known to have used Rockwool thus far...

Rockwool itself does not directly sell its products to end customers in the Russian market but relies on a network of distributors. Particularly one of these officially certified partners, a company called Marine Complex Systems LLC (“MKS”), is responsible for a significant portion of the deliveries of Rockwool to the Russian Navy, including those used for the frigates...

Despite numerous inquiries from Danwatch and Ekstra Bladet, Rockwool has declined to be interviewed about how their materials ended up in the three frigates. Instead, we have sent a number of written questions to Rockwool's Danish headquarters concerning the transactions and the cooperation with the distributor MKS.

However, Rockwool Group's head of communications, Michael Zarin, chose to ignore these questions and instead provided a general statement about Rockwool’s continuing presence in Russia, which he had also previously sent us. He further writes:

"Through distributors, our products are widely available on the Russian market, as is the case in many other markets. Neither ROCKWOOL A/S nor our Russian subsidiaries directly sell to Russian end users or have a customer relationship with the Russian military."

"At ROCKWOOL, we typically do not comment on the specific details you have inquired about regarding particular projects or customer relationships. However, as we have previously mentioned, ROCKWOOL maintains comprehensive guidelines for risk assessments and due diligence."

Michael Zarin did not disclose what specific kind of risk assessment Rockwool has conducted in relation to the deliveries to the Russian military, nor did he explain why Rockwool continued its cooperation with MKS for several years despite MKS’ regular deliveries to the Russian military...