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German prosecutors charge Siemens staff over Crimea turbine deal

Siemens employees accused of bypassing sanctions to sell gas turbines to Russian-annexed Crimea. Europe’s industrial giant embroiled in controversy over alleged embargo breach involving energy equipment sales to occupied territory.
German company Siemens the world’s second-largest and Europe’s largest international concern operating in the energy and other industries.
German prosecutors charge Siemens staff over Crimea turbine deal

The prosecutor’s office in Germany is seeking to hold Siemens employees accountable for knowingly supplying gas turbines to Russian-occupied Crimea despite the embargo imposed after Russia annexed the peninsula in 2014, Wirtschaftswoche reports.

A total of 41 countries, including the United States, Canada, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, have joined Crimean sanctions against Russia for its annexation of Crimea. In 2014 Ukraine adopted sanctions against hundreds of Russian individuals and entities, including leading companies, officials, and those involved in the occupation of Crimea. In 2021, Ukraine abolished the Crimea Free Economic Zone, prohibiting business activities and resource supply to the occupied peninsula.

German prosecutors have brought charges against five men involved in the illegal supply of Siemens gas turbines to Crimea in 2017, including a current Siemens employee.

“Four Germans and one Swiss national facilitated the sale of four gas turbines to the Russian state company, knowing they would eventually end up in Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, in violation of the embargo,” the prosecutor’s office stated.

According to the prosecutors, the turbines, worth 111 million euros ($119 mn), were shipped to St. Petersburg via the port of Hamburg between November 2015 and January 2016.

Instead of installing them in southern Russia as agreed, Siemens’ Russian customer installed them at two new power plants in Sevastopol and Simferopol, cities in the Russian-occupied Crimea, providing power to the Crimea. The accused reportedly knew the turbines’ intended destination.

Siemens Gas Turbine Technologies, a joint venture with Russian Power Machines, was added to Siemens Energy during the 2020 Siemens spin-off and sold at the end of 2022 after Russia invaded Ukraine. Siemens and Siemens Energy stated they consider themselves victims of their Russian client Technopromexport (TPE) but are cooperating with investigators. The five accused, however, deny the charges.

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