Siemens to help provide forbidden power to Crimea

Siemens to help provide forbidden power to Crimea

Siemens turbines will help Russia power occupied Ukrainian territory? Photo: REUTERS 

Crimea

Article by: Stefan Scholl
Translated by: A.K.

The Siemens corporation is in danger of wandering into a gray area: Generators from Siemens are to be installed in a plant near Crimea. Observers are therefore accusing Siemens of breaching the EU sanctions.

The headline was vocal: “Siemens is delivering turbines for power stations in Crimea,” reported the Russian newspaper “Vedomosti” on Tuesday. As reported by the financial newspaper, which is know for its solid reputation, the St. Petersburg-based Siemens subsidiary “Siemens Technologii Gasovych Turbin” is delivering four steam gas turbine systems, each with an output of 235 megawatts, to the Russian state-owned company “Technopromeksport.”

The turbines are supposedly destined for a new power plan near Taman in the Russian region of Krasnodar. But this is a formality to evade EU sanctions implemented against Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in March 2014. These ban, among other things, the supply of products related to energy production to Crimea. In fact, the Russian side reportedly wants to deliver the Siemens turbines to Crimea and install them there.

The power generators are planned to be shipped to Taman, divided by the narrow Kerch from Crimea. Map by Euromaidan Press

The power generators are planned to be shipped to Taman, divided by the narrow Kerch from Crimea. Map by Euromaidan Press

Power Bridge planned for Crimea

Russian heavy howitzers stationed in the Crimean village of Voloshine, targeted at the mainland Ukraine. (Image: Ukrainian patriot in Crimea via Twitter)

Russian heavy howitzers stationed in the Crimean village of Voloshine, targeted at the mainland Ukraine. (Image: Ukrainian patriot in Crimea via Twitter)

Denials came immediately: First, Technopromeksport assured that the turbines in question were designated for the Krasnodar region. And a Siemens spokesperson told the FR (Frankfurter Rundschau, this paper – Ed.) that media reports indicating that Siemens is delivering technical goods to Crimea were incorrect. “We have no reason to believe that the gas turbines mentioned by the media are being considered [for delivery] to Crimea.” According to the spokesperson, Siemens respects the decisions taken with respect to sanctions and will “of course” comply with the rules set out by the current sanctions.

All that apparently remains is speculation about whether the Russians are actually callous enough to ship the Siemens turbines across the Kerch Strait to Crimea, in contravention of all contractual obligations. Even if that happens, Russian experts see it as questionable whether Siemens will be held accountable. According to Russian property law, a supplier is not permitted to apply any restrictions on its buyer, said Nikolai Zaichenko, a corporate lawyer. “[The supplier] cannot forbid the further sale or delivery to other regions.”

Unfortunately its own profits are more important to [Siemens] than the territorial integrity of Ukraine, according to Dzhemilev.

However, as confirmed by the Siemens spokesperson, the turbines are planned for a power station to be built near the coastal town of Taman in the Krasnodar region, which is only 20 km from the Crimean port of Kerch. The Moscow newspaper “Kommersant” reported in January that the [Russian] Energy Ministry is planning a power station near Taman with an output of 660 megawatts.

Its main purposes are to secure power supply for the still to be constructed port of Taman – but primarily power for Crimea, to be transported through a “power bridge” on the sea floor of the Kerch Strait. Power transmission at a strength of 500 kilovolts is being considered in order to improve Crimea’s electricity supply, energy minister Alexander Novak told the news agency Itar-Tass last year. The required generators were to be installed on the Taman peninsula. A planned 600-megawatt power station near Novorossiysk is also intended to supply Crimea.

“That violates the sanctions”

  • Russian army invading Crimea, Ukraine
    Russian army invading Crimea, Ukraine
  • 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)
  • Crimean Tatars protest the Russian occupation
    Crimean Tatars protest the Russian occupation
  • 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.
  • Siemens to help provide forbidden power to Crimea ~~
    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.
  • 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 Mejlis raided and searched by Russian police in balaclavas
    Crimean Tatar Mejlis raided and searched by Russian police in balaclavas
  • 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)
  • Russia annexed the Crimea on March 18, 2014. Photo: sakha.today
    Russia annexed the Crimea м March 18, 2014. Photo: sakha.today
  • "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
  • "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 was shunned at the 2014 G20 meeting in Australia after the Crimea Anschluss by Russia.
    Putin G20 Australia 2014
  • 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
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • Putin speaking in occupied Sevastopol on the anniversary of the WW2 Victory Day to celebrate Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine conducted by his military and special forces two months earlier. May 9, 2014 (Image: kremlin.ru)
    Putin speaking in occupied Sevastopol on the anniversary of the WW2 Victory Day to celebrate Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine conducted by his military and special forces two months earlier. May 9, 2014 (Image: kremlin.ru)

[In Crimea] people are eagerly awaiting the power sent through the new undersea cable since the peninsula still depends on Ukraine’s electricity network, which supplies around 80% of its power. Just a few days ago, Kyiv threatened to cut off power to the separatists.

It could occur that the Siemens turbines are not operated in Crimea but instead produce electricity for Crimea from 20 kilometers to the east. There are already numerous observers who are accusing Siemens of not respecting the boycott. “That violates the sanctions,” stated Mustafa Dzhemilev, a Crimean Tatar member of the Ukrainian parliament. “There is no need for new power plants on the Taman peninsula or anywhere else in Krasnodar; it’s obvious that this power is going to Crimea.” Unfortunately its own profits are more important to the company than the territorial integrity of Ukraine, according to Dzhemilev.

In any case, Siemens is in danger of falling into the gray area that Russia and its state-owned companies occupy in order to, despite the sanctions, acquire foreign technology for future energy infrastructure in Crimea.

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

Translated by: A.K.
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