When asked about a possible withdrawal of Siemens turbines from the Crimea, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak stated that a thermal power plant will be built in the Crimea even if Siemens withdraws the turbines which were shipped to the peninsula.
“The project will be realized in any event, because the construction of generation is necessary there. The company will realize it, I believe, according to the technical decisions which were made, and according to current legislation. As far as we know dates and timetables today – the first modules could be initiated as early as the first quarter of 2018,” Novak said.
The Russian energy minister refused to give details on the project, and referred to possible legal cases in future.
“Since this project is being realized under commercial conditions and funds are brought in by companies, equipment is ordered independently, such contracts are not usually publicized. This is why I think it is correct for this topic to be commented on by the companies themselves, because these are commercial agreements, commercial relations. In order to ensure that in court there are only clear papers and no interpretations, let’s give the involved parties the chance to comment themselves,” he said.
Siemens recognized that its gas turbines were illegally brought from Russia to the Crimea, and promised to go to court to punish the guilty parties for the obvious violation of the sanction regime, to stop possible new shipments, and to return the mentioned turbines from the Crimea to Russia.
On July 10 Dmitry Peskov, Press Secretary to the Russian President, said that the turbines of the German company Siemens which were brought from Russia to annexed Crimea in violation of the EU’s sanctions were Russian turbines. According to him, “turbines manufactured in Russia and assembled by Russian companies” are being set up on the peninsula.
According to an investigation published earlier by Reuters, the turbines in question were actually produced in Russian territory, in Saint Petersburg, by a joint enterprise with a Russian party, of which the German company owns 65%.
The turbines were officially intended for the power station on the Taman Peninsula in Russia. Last year Siemens received a written pledge from its Russian counterparties that these turbines would not be delivered to the annexed Crimea.
Another version which contradicts Peskov’s statement was put forward by the Russian state company Technopromexport, which purchased turbines supposedly for Taman. It claimed that it bought these turbines produced by Siemens, but “on the secondary market”, and thus the German company is not responsible for violating the sanctions.