Siemens to press charges after gas turbines moved from Russia to Crimea
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Siemens will press criminal charges against the parties responsible for moving at least two of its gas turbines from Russia to Crimea, where EU companies are banned from providing energy technology.
Last week, Reuters reported that the turbines had been moved to Crimea with the assistance of Russia’s ZAO Interautomatika, in which Siemens holds a minority stake.
Following the 2014 annexation of the region by Russia, Crimea has been subject to comprehensive international sanctions and travel bans, including a bar on EU companies providing arms, energy technology, and certain financial products. Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised energy security for the peninsula, although there are no Russian companies which could quickly supply similar gas turbines.
According to Siemens, their customer - Technopromexport, a state-owned Russian engineering company - had confirmed that the turbines would not be sent to Crimea; this could be considered a breach of international criminal law.
However, at least two of their gas turbines have since been moved to Crimea. This is “against [Siemens’] will” the Munich-based company stated, adding that it was not aware that the turbines were destined for Crimea.
“Siemens has received information from reliable sources that at least two of the four gas turbine sets, which were delivered for the project in Taman, Southern Russia, have been moved to Crimea against our will,” a company statement said.
“Over the last few months, our customer has confirmed to us numerous times in writing that a delivery to Crimea would not occur. As a consequence, Siemens will initiate criminal charges against the responsible individuals.”
Siemens has announced that it will pursue criminal charges against the parties responsible for moving them to Crimea. The company said that an internal taskforce is investigating its Russian-based units to ensure that no more sanctions are violated through the movement of its services and equipment.
According to the Germany Economy Ministry, it is Siemens’ responsibility to respect the EU sanctions against Crimea.
The Kremlin has responded by saying that the turbines were Russian-built using Russian parts. The turbines were manufactured in a St Petersburg factory which is 65 per cent owned by Siemens, and uses its technology.
Over the past decade, Siemens has invested approximately $1 billion euros in Russia, mostly in the energy sector, and has continued to retain Russia as a close trading partner after the annexation of Crimea.