Schwerin (dpa / mv) – The climate foundation MV, which is controversial because of its connections to the construction of the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 2, has rejected the allegation of evasion of the gift tax. “All speculation that the board has committed tax evasion is based on a misunderstanding of the regulations to be used for this tax case,” said the foundation on Wednesday in Schwerin. Also, no criminal proceedings had been initiated, since there was no evidence of this.

The allegations of tax evasion related to 20 million euros that Nord Stream 2 AG provided to the foundation after its creation are not new. According to its own statements, the foundation has now responded to a small request from members of the Green Party in the Schwerin state parliament. The tax office asked the Climate Foundation whether data protected by tax secrecy may be passed on. However, the foundation does not want to release the information until the responsible tax office has made a decision on the gift tax liability. “A decision is still pending months later. But we don’t want to give any approval before we have been able to read and check the decision ourselves,” it said.

In addition, the Climate Foundation reiterated its position that the 20 million euros in foundation funds from Nord Stream 2 AG were only intended for climate protection purposes and not to support the German-Russian gas project. The grant was reported to the tax office in good time. The foundation has also submitted an application for exemption from gift tax.