Siemens says investigating reports its turbines sent to Crimea
Staff Writer |
Siemens said on Friday it had set up a task force to investigate reports that its turbines had been delivered to Crimea for use in Russian-built power plants.
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A report by Reuters published on July 5 cited three sources with knowledge of the delivery as saying Russia had delivered electricity turbines made by Siemens to Crimea.
Russia annexed the peninsula from Ukraine in 2014, and the region is subject to European Union sanctions barring EU firms from supplying it with energy technology.
"We have no credible evidence about actual deliveries of our turbines to Crimea. However, we are taking these rumours seriously and have put in place a task force team to investigate the matter that is working diligently to clarify the facts," Siemens said in a statement.
Reuters was unable to determine if Siemens knew of or condoned the equipment transfer, but the move exposes the German company to potential accusations of indirect sanctions-busting and of not taking sufficient safeguards to ensure its equipment does not end up on territory most countries view as illegally annexed, say legal experts.
"If there were any re-routings of recently purchased turbines to Crimea, it would constitute a clear violation of contractual agreements. Siemens has repeatedly alerted its customer that Siemens complies with all export control restrictions," the company said.
"Siemens has taken all possible legal and will take operational measures to prevent the equipment from being used in an unlawful way, e.g. it will not provide any deliveries or services for installation, commissioning support or warranty.
"We will continue to fully cooperate with all stakeholders." ■
In a resolution passed on November 24 by 416 votes in favour, 124 against and 33 abstentions, MEPs say that the 17 remedial measures negotiated by the Commission and Hungary are “not sufficient to address the existing systemic risk to the EU’s financial interests”, even if implemented fully.