© Screenshot Spacety
After first reports of alleged ties between Luxembourg-based Spacety and the Wagner mercenary group came out, two Ministries have now denounced the company in an effort to limit its ability to support Russia's war efforts.
Spacety is a Chinese space corporation that established operations in Luxembourg in 2019. Since January 2023, it has been part of the list of companies sanctioned by US authorities for their involvement in the war in Ukraine. According to reports, Spacety is believed to have supplied satellite images to Russia's Wagner mercenary group.
Upon enquiry, the Ministry of the Economy has stated that an inter-ministerial group has initiated steps to prevent Spacety from directly or indirectly supporting Russia's war efforts. Ministers Fayot and Asselborn have therefore brought the case to the state prosecutor so that potential violations of EU sanctions can be spotted.
Spacety forced to vacate Luxembourgish offices
Spacety used to occupy offices in the Belval 'Technoport', which they have now been forced to vacate, according to the Ministry of the Economy. Both the Luxembourg government and the National Credit and Investment Society (SNCI) are shareholders of the Technoport.
© Domingos Oliveira
LIST halts cooperation
In August 2022, the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) signed a collaboration agreement with Spacety. Even before that, LIST had already relied on high-resolution images and data for research projects in the area of risk reduction, such as floods, or maritime surveillance.
Since signing the agreement, LIST algorithms had been adjusted to the data sets provided by Spacety. In a first statement, which the Institute issued in February, they announced that they would halt cooperation if necessary. According to RTL sources, this happened a few days ago.
LIST officials further stated that they never shared technologies, algorithms, or data with Spacety.
University of Luxembourg follows suit
The University of Luxembourg was also known to collaborate with the Chinese firm on mechanical systems to remove space debris. The institution has since released a statement to underline that they never conducted activities that necessitated the use of satellite imagery.
Cooperation with Spacety has now been suspended and officials are actively working on fully terminating the relationship, the University further explained.
Shortly after Spacety was accused of supplying satellite images to the Wagner group, the Chinese company put out a statement to denounce all allegations. After this statement was issued, RTL was no longer able to get in touch with company officials.
© Domingos Oliveira