Foundations have a wholly inhuman quality.

You are immortal.

Once set up, they are usually impossible to kill.

Only when the fulfillment of their purposes is no longer an option or when they endanger the common good are their bodies or the state foundation supervisory authority obliged to revoke them.

The Mecklenburg-Western Pomeranian Climate and Environmental Protection Foundation is currently proving to be particularly resistant.

Founded under the guise of environmental goals, its real purpose was different: to secure the Nord Stream 2 pipeline expansion while circumventing possible US sanctions.

To this end, she maintained her own commercial business operations.

It is disputed who came up with the idea for the foundation.

There is much to suggest that she came from the Deep East.

The federal state invested the basic assets: a symbolic 200,000 euros.

20 million euros came from the Swiss Nord Stream 2 AG, a company backed by Gazprom and thus the majority of the Russian state.

The state parliament and state government celebrated the project.

Foundation experts, on the other hand, wrinkled their noses.

State foundations are considered questionable for all sorts of legal reasons.

After Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the hangover is everywhere.

The circumstances surrounding the foundation's establishment, which are still not transparent, its feigned charitable status, the unclear tax consequences of collecting the Russian funds and, last but not least, the close Moscow connections of its chairman,

of the former prime minister Erwin Sellering, cast them in a gloomy light.

Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig wants to dissolve it quickly.

Your predecessor resists it.

Ecology as camouflage

In the fight for their survival, the foundation commissioned an expert opinion.

It was presented last Friday.

Its author is the Bochum legal scholar Katharina Uffmann.

Your results come to Sellering as ordered.

Uffmann in summary: A dissolution or abolition of the foundation as a reaction to Russia's war of aggression is not permissible.

The Articles of Association do not give the Board of Directors the right to dissolve.

The foundation supervisory authority may not intervene because there can be no question of the impossibility of fulfilling the purpose of the foundation.

The “clear” purpose of the foundation for Uffmann – protection of the environment, climate and nature – can still be pursued.

There was and is nothing that endangers the common good or is immoral.

Nord Stream 2 AG is a normal company.

In any case, donations were made before the war.

The Nord Stream case cannot be compared with the case of the convicted child murderer Magnus Gäfgen, who was denied the establishment of a child protection foundation in 2006 because of the negative connotations of his person (possibly that is why Uffmann always calls him “Markus Gäffken”).

According to Uffmann, by recognizing the foundation as having legal capacity, the competent foundation authority has established that its purposes do not endanger the common good.

There are no subsequent circumstances that cast this decision in a different light.

In any case, the war is irrelevant.

Anyone who loves scholasticism can argue in this way.

Legal experts like to call results that are not really convincing “reasonable”.

In fact, however, a thought experiment suggests itself.

Imagine that the foundation should be re-established today with the knowledge of the true connections.

Should it be dismissed out of hand that the ecological purposes were merely a camouflage for the state government's Russia policy and were therefore a form of bogus business?

Would one still be able to accept money to support a project that was by no means a purely private initiative, but part of a geopolitical strategy designed to enable Russia to

to bypass Ukraine as a transit country for gas to Europe and literally bleed dry?

Wouldn't the suspicion of immoral complicity with Putin's criminal policy of destroying entire states and political bribery arise?

One wonders that none of this should be enough to pull the plug on a foundation that is a changeling of Putin, simply because it is only now coming to light.

You should have looked better earlier.

Another report has been announced for the next few days.

The state government commissioned it.

It is intended to legitimize the cancellation of the foundation.

That shouldn't be difficult.

The author is a notary in Hamburg and honorary professor at the University of Kiel.