Siemens set to violate sanctions regime, helping build power stations in Crimea

 

Crimea, Featured, International, More, Opinion

Edited by: Melodia Kouklewsky

We are seeking an economic or legal advisor that could consult us on what measures are available to make sure that Siemens doesn’t get away with violating EU sanctions – please contact us at euromaidanpress (a) gmail.com

According to the Russian business newspaper Vedomosti, German multinational technology giant Siemens entered into a contract to supply modern gas turbine-powered electricity generating plants for Sevastopol and Simferopol in Crimea, the Russia-occupied Ukrainian peninsula, in violation of Western sanctions.  EU sanctions prohibit European Union companies from either exporting energy technology or providing services for energy infrastructure in Crimea. The contract with the Russian engineering company Techpromeksport  at issue was signed last spring and the downpayment has already been made  for two new power stations in Crimea. The plant producing the equipment is a joint company of Siemens AG, which owns 65 percent, and the company Power Machines OJSC.

Russian heavy howitzers stationed in the Crimean village of Voloshine next to the unoccupied Ukrainian territory facing the dividing line. (Image: Ukrainian patriot in Crimea via Twitter)

Russian heavy howitzers stationed in the Crimean village of Voloshine targeting the unoccupied Ukrainian territory. (Image: Ukrainian patriot in Crimea via Twitter)

Specifically designed to skirt the Western sanctions targeted against Putin’s annexation of Crimea, the contract states that the turbine plants will be shipped to the town of Taman in the Krasnodar region of Russia, just across the strait from Crimea. Vedomosti‘s source stated that this was only done “as a formality” to get around the sanctions. Then the Siemens technology will be transported to Crimea, which will be its final destination. It is unclear who disclosed this information and for what purpose. Whether it is a Siemens competitor in Russia, an official that did not get his share of the bribe, or the Russian government intending to gauge Western reaction in advance of the alleged violation, the chances that the equipment will remain in Taman are extremely dubious. The severe shortage of electric power-generating capacity exists in the occupied Crimea fully dependent on the Ukrainian power grid, not in Taman. The tens of thousands of Russian military now stationed in the peninsula need that electric power to keep their war machines operational and to not be dependent on Ukraine.

crimea

Moreover, even technical maintenance of the plants will not be affected by the sanctions, as replacement parts could be “easily purchased” from Siemens in China or Iran, while maintenance servicing can be procured in Russia, according to Vedomosti.

In an official statement published on their site, Siemens has refuted the allegations, claiming that it has not signed a contract with Technopromexport in which equipment will be supplied to Crimea. Refusing to disclose the details of the contract, Siemens stated: “we have no reason to believe that the gas turbines mentioned in the news articles are destined for Crimea.” According to the Russian energy portal neftegaz.ru, Techpromeksport has also refuted the claims and stated that the equipment will be used only for generators in Taman. However, no official notice has been published on their site.

If the equipment indeed ends up in Crimea, would Siemens  be held accountable for violating the sanctions regime? German law provides for fines and personal criminal liability for such actions. However, Vedomosti provides the opinion of Nikolai Zaichenko, a partner of the Nevsky IP Law firm: Siemens could get away with it – according to Russia’s private property law, the customer has a right to redistribute and ship to other regions the product ordered from the supplier. Moreover, Siemens could just say that it trusted the information in the contract, he adds. According to another expert Arthur Zurabyan, the EU sanctions apply to subsidiaries of European companies with a share of foreign capital above 50%. In theory, the German side could challenge this criterion if it proves that it was the Russian side that made the decision on this issue; a minority shareholder could have additional powers in this case, adds Zurabyan.

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If Siemens equipment will indeed be shipped to Crimea, this would be a bold violation of the Western sanctions.  Siemens is a sophisticated player on the world’s energy stage and should not be turning a blind eye to Russia’s intended use for its equipment. If Siemens didn’t have knowledge of Russia’s intent before, it certainly does now that the deal has become public. It will be critical for Siemens to abide by the law and either ensure that the equipment stays in Taman or stop the execution of the contract. Otherwise, it will run afoul of the spirit of the sanctions and will support the Russian annexation of Ukrainian territory. In addition, going forward with this deal while the world is watching could create a backlash against the company and complicate Siemens’  future business in Ukraine and other countries in Eastern Europe threatened by Russian neo-imperialism. As a global security matter, skirting the sanctions regime would further embolden Putin and sabotage the agreement among the Western world to oppose Putin’s war via non-military means.

We request that Siemens makes public the ways it plans to ensure that the equipment does not end up serving Putin’s occupation regime in Crimea and takes the necessary enforcing measures.

  • A man holds a sign in a protest against Russian military intervention in the Crimea region of Ukraine on March 2, 2014 in New York City.
    A man holds a sign in a protest against Russian military intervention in the Crimea region of Ukraine on March 2, 2014 in New York City.
  • A soldier of the Russian annexation force flashes a victory sign while marching near a Ukrainian army base in Perevalne, Crimea. March 2014
    A soldier of the Russian annexation force flashes a victory sign while marching near a Ukrainian army base in Perevalne, Crimea. March 2014
  • Armed Russian soldiers block the entrance to a Ukrainian naval border guard base in Sevastopol during the annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine. March 2014. (Image: New York Times)
    Armed Russian soldiers block the entrance to a Ukrainian naval border guard base in Sevastopol during the annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine. March 2014. (Image: New York Times)
  • Putin tasking the assembly of Duma deputies, Federation Council members, and the heads of the Russian regions with integration of Crimea into the Russian Federation, March 18, 2014. (Image: Aleksey Nikolskyi/RIAN)
    Putin tasking the assembly of Duma deputies, Federation Council members, and the heads of the Russian regions with integration of Crimea into the Russian Federation, March 18, 2014. (Image: Aleksey Nikolskyi/RIAN)
  • Crimean Tatars protest the Russian occupation
    Crimean Tatars protest the Russian occupation
  • Russian army invading Crimea, Ukraine
    Russian army invading Crimea, Ukraine
  • Angeblicher russischer Soldat vor dem ukrainischen Militärstützpunkt Perewalnoje bei Simferopol auf der Krim - Foto: Daniel Van Moll/Nur/Photoshot
  • Crimean Tartar protest against the Russian occupation.
    Crimean Tatars
  • The Crimean Referendum of March 2014 (Image: RFE/RL)
    The Crimean Referendum of March 2014 (Image: RFE/RL)
  • Unmarked trucks with Putin's so-called "little green men" - heavily-armed Russian cadres military troops hiding their identities and without insignia during the invasion into the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in February 2014.
    Unmarked trucks with Putin's so-called "little green men" - heavily-armed Russian cadres military troops hiding their identities and without insignia during the invasion into the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in February 2014.
  • russian military crimea self defense
  • Crimea is Ukraine. Graffiti in the city of Omsk, Russia (Image: omskpress.ru)
    Crimea is Ukraine. Graffiti in the city of Omsk, Russia (Image: omskpress.ru)
  • Crimea is Ukraine
  • In a hybrid war operation, Russian "little green men", heavily armed soldiers without insignia, annexed Crimea from Ukraine
    In a hybrid war operation, Russian "little green men", heavily armed soldiers without insignia, annexed Crimea from Ukraine
  • A portrait of Putin with "Crimea" written on the upper lip
  • Putin celebrating the Crimea Anschluss, 2014
    Putin celebrating the Crimea Anschluss, 2014
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin giving a speech celebrating the annexation of Crimea by Russia during his visit to the port of Sevastopol on May 9, 2014. (Image: YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images)
    Russian President Vladimir Putin giving a speech celebrating the annexation of Crimea by Russia during his visit to the port of Sevastopol on May 9, 2014. (Image: YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Armed guards block the entrance to a naval border guard base in Sevastopol, in the Crimea region of Ukraine March 2014. New York Times
    Armed guards block the entranc
  • Crimean Tatar protest. The sign in Russian reads: "We are on our own land!"
    Crimean Tatar protest
  • The Russian occupation authorities in Crimea opening a new Stalin monument to commemorate the Yalta Conference (February 4-11, 1945) between US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin that legitimized the post-World War II occupation of Eastern Europe by the Soviet Union (Image: Wikimedia)
    The Russian occupation authorities in Crimea opening a new Stalin monument to commemorate the Yalta Conference (February 4-11, 1945) between US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin that legitimized the post-World War II occupation of Eastern Europe by the Soviet Union (Image: Wikimedia)
  • Crimean Tatar Mejlis raided and searched by Russian police in balaclavas
    Crimean Tatar Mejlis raided and searched by Russian police in balaclavas
  • "Crimea is Ukraine" - Crimeans protest against Russian occupation, March 2014
    "Crimea is Ukraine" - Crimeans protest against Russian occupation, March 2014
  • "Crimean Tatars want peace" - Crimeans protest against Russian occupation, March 2014
    "Crimean Tatars want peace" Crimeans protest against Russian occupation, March 2014
  • Russia annexed the Crimea on March 18, 2014. Photo: sakha.today
    Russia annexed the Crimea м March 18, 2014. Photo: sakha.today
  • "No to war! Crimea is Ukraine!"
    "No to war! Crimea is Ukraine!" Crimeans protest against Russian occupation, March 2014
  • A Crimean Tatar woman holds a sign "Crimea Is Ukraine" in protest to the fake "referendum" imposed by force by Moscow in March 2014.
    A Crimean Tatar woman holds a sign "Crimea Is Ukraine" in protest to the fake "referendum" imposed by force by Moscow in March 2014.
  • Putin celebrating 1st anniversary of Crimea Anschluss, 2015
    Putin celebrating 1st anniversary of Crimea Anschluss, 2015
  • Celebration of Crimea Anschluss near the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia (Photo: ng.ru)
    Celebration of Crimea Anschluss near the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia (Photo: ng.ru)
  • A soldier of the Russian occupation force atop an IFV in Crimea. (Image: epa.eu)
    A soldier of the Russian occupation force atop an IFV in Crimea. (Image: epa.eu)
  • Crimean Tartars (photo: oleg-leusenko.livejournal.com)
    Crimean Tartars (photo: oleg-leusenko.livejournal.com)
  • Chief editor of the Crimean Tartar-language "Avdet" Shevkey Kaybullayev, whose newspaper was denied a license to continue to operate in Crimea by Russia’s media watchdog Roskomnadzor, as reported by an also-shuttering Crimean News Agency (Photo: QHA)
    Chief editor of the Crimean Tartar-language "Avdet" Shevkey Kaybullayev, whose newspaper was denied a license to continue to operate in Crimea by Russia’s media watchdog Roskomnadzor, as reported by an also-shuttering Crimean News Agency (Photo: QHA)
  • A girl in a national Crimean Tatar dress holds a placard during a protest against the presence of Russian troops in Crimea, Bakhchysaray, Crimea, March 5, 2014 (Image: mfa.gov.ua)
    Crimean Tartar girl, March 2014
  • 17 minutes before the channel shutdown, an online poll shows 99.2% of respondents said "Yes" to a question "Do you need ATR TV channel?" (Image: @CrimeaUA1 on Twitter.com)
    17 minutes before the channel shutdown, an online poll shows 99.2% of respondents said "Yes" to a question "Do you need ATR TV channel?" (Image: @CrimeaUA1 on Twitter.com)
  • A protester in Europe wearing a Crimean Tatar flag with a sign protesting the shuttering of Crimean Tatar media outlets by Russian occupiers in April 2015 (Photo: Olexei Ivanov, day.kiev.ua)
    A protester in Europe wearing a Crimean Tatar flag with a sign protesting the shuttering of Crimean Tatar media outlets by Russian occupiers in April 2015 (Photo: Olexei Ivanov, day.kiev.ua)
  • ATR poll in the bottom of the screen shows 82% of ATR viewers against the Crimea Anschluss by Russia in March 2014
    ATR poll in the bottom of the screen shows 82% of ATR viewers against the Crimea Anschluss by Russia in March 2014
  • Oleg Sentsov, Ukrainian filmmaker and resident of Crimea illegally arrested on made-up charges and imprisoned by Putin's regime #FreeSentsov
    Oleg Sentsov, Ukrainian filmmaker and resident of Crimea illegally arrested on made-up charges and imprisoned by Putin's regime #FreeSentsov
  • The pin on the chest of the protester says: "Don't Kill ATR!" at the protest against the shuttering of Crimean media outlets by the Kremlin, March 2015
    The pin on the chest of the protester says: "Don't Kill ATR!" at the protest against the shuttering of Crimean media outlets by the Kremlin, March 2015
  • Protest against the shutdown of ATR Crimean Tartar TV channel in Crimea by the Russian occupation authorities (Image: krymr.org)
    Protest against the shutdown of ATR Crimean Tartar TV channel in Crimea by the Russian occupation authorities (Image: krymr.org)
  • a-crimean-tatar-man
  • Russian heavy howitzers stationed in the Crimean village of Voloshine next to the unoccupied Ukrainian territory facing the dividing line. (Image: Ukrainian patriot in Crimea via Twitter)
    Russian heavy howitzers stationed in the Crimean village of Voloshine next to the unoccupied Ukrainian territory facing the dividing line. (Image: Ukrainian patriot in Crimea via Twitter)
  • Tourism is critical to Crimea's economy. After Russia's annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula, the multi-million flow of tourists contracted to a trickle, thus crushing Crimean economy. The webcam images of empty beaches that normally were completely full are a confirmation. June 2015 (Image: Webcam capture)
    Tourism is critical to Crimea's economy. After Russia's annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula, the multi-million flow of tourists contracted to a trickle, thus crushing Crimean economy. The webcam images of empty beaches that normally were completely full are a confirmation. June 2015 (Image: Webcam capture)
  • Tourism is critical to Crimea's economy. After Russia's annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula, the multi-million flow of tourists contracted to a trickle, thus crushing Crimean economy. The webcam images of empty beaches that normally were completely full are a confirmation. June 2015 (Image: Webcam capture)
    Tourism is critical to Crimea's economy. After Russia's annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula, the multi-million flow of tourists contracted to a trickle, thus crushing Crimean economy. The webcam images of empty beaches that normally were completely full are a confirmation. June 2015 (Image: Webcam capture)
  • Tourism is critical to Crimea's economy. After Russia's annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula, the multi-million flow of tourists contracted to a trickle, thus crushing Crimean economy. The webcam images of empty beaches that normally were completely full are a confirmation. June 2015 (Image: Webcam capture)
    Tourism is critical to Crimea's economy. After Russia's annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula, the multi-million flow of tourists contracted to a trickle, thus crushing Crimean economy. The webcam images of empty beaches that normally were completely full are a confirmation. June 2015 (Image: Webcam capture)
  • As tourism to Crimea has undergone a major contraction, a major supermarket chain "Furshet" in Yalta has reduced its inventory to a minimum and fills the empty shelves with bottles of water and drinks one-bottle deep. June 2015. (Image: Twitter)
    As tourism to Crimea has undergone a major contraction, a major supermarket chain "Furshet" in Yalta has reduced its inventory to a minimum and fills the empty shelves with bottles of water and drinks one-bottle deep. June 2015. (Image: Twitter)
  • As tourism to Crimea has undergone a major contraction, a major supermarket chain "Furshet" in Yalta has reduced its inventory to a minimum and fills the empty shelves with bottles of water and drinks one-bottle deep. June 2015. (Image: Twitter)
    As tourism to Crimea has undergone a major contraction, a major supermarket chain "Furshet" in Yalta has reduced its inventory to a minimum and fills the empty shelves with bottles of water and drinks one-bottle deep. June 2015. (Image: Twitter)
  • As Crimea's economy after the Russian occupation has slowed to a standstill, the railroad yard in Sevastopol is being overtaken by grass. June 2015 (Image: Twitter)
    As Crimea's economy after the Russian occupation has slowed to a standstill, the railroad yard in Sevastopol is being overtaken by grass. June 2015 (Image: Twitter)
  • Grass grew over the railroad tracks near Sevastopol, the largest industrial city of the Ukrainian peninsula, as Crimea's economy slowed to a standstill after the Russian occupation. June 2015 (Image: Twitter)
  • The main train station in Evpatoria, a major resort city in Crimea, stays empty after the Russian occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula. June 2015. (Image: Twitter)
    The main train station in Evpatoria, a major resort city in Crimea, stays empty after the Russian occupation of the Ukrainian peninsula. June 2015. (Image: Twitter)

 

 

Edited by: Melodia Kouklewsky

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