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Russian Court Refuses To Impound Siemens Power Turbines Sent To Crimea

A turbine at a Siemens Gas Turbine plant in Berlin (file photo)
A turbine at a Siemens Gas Turbine plant in Berlin (file photo)

A Russian court on November 28 refused to impound four German-made power turbines that ended up in Russia-annexed Crimea, dismissing a lawsuit filed by industrial giant Siemens to block what it contended was an illegal transfer.

The Moscow court threw out Siemens' lawsuit against Technopromexport, a subsidiary of Russian state conglomerate Rostec, which was filed in July after Siemens learned that the turbines it had delivered to a power plant in southern Russia ended up in Crimea, in violation of European Union sanctions imposed over Russia's illegal seizure of the peninsula in 2014.

Russian news agencies said the court "rejected" Seimens' request to seize the turbines, which are used to generate electricity. Crimea has historically relied on power lines from Ukraine for electricity and suffered power shortages after the Russian takeover.

After a series of blackouts on the peninsula, Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to construct new electrical facilities in Crimea to address the shortages. Technopromexport sent the Siemens turbines to two new power plants it is building in Simferopol and Sevastopol.

Siemens said that it was not aware that the turbines would be diverted illegally to Crimea and contended in its lawsuit that the transfer was a breach of its contract with Technopromexport.

Russian authorities insisted that the turbines were transferred to Crimea legally.

In response to the turbine dispute, the EU expanded its sanctions against Russian officials and companies, a move Moscow called "hostile" and politically motivated.

Based on reporting by Reuters and TASS

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