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Russian Court Rejects Siemens Claim Over Turbine Transfer To Crimea

Siemens says that gas turbines it sold to Technopromexport were meant to be installed at a plant in southern Russia and that the Russian company breached contract conditions by sending them to Crimea. (file photo)

A Russian court has rejected a claim by German conglomerate Siemens that the sale of power turbines that were delivered to Ukraine's Russian-occupied Crimea region was invalid.

The Moscow Arbitration Court rejected a reversal of the deal in a December 14 ruling, about four months after the same court denied a request by Siemens to seize the gas turbines and to ban their installation ahead of preliminary hearings.

Siemens lodged a lawsuit against Russian state firm Technopromexport in July, after it emerged that four turbines sent to a power plant in Russia ended up in Crimea.

The transfer of the equipment to Crimea contravened European Union sanctions imposed after Russia's illegal annexation of the Black Sea peninsula in March 2014.

The turbines, manufactured in Russia by a joint project involving Siemens, were sold to Technopromexport in 2015.

The Munich-based conglomerate said the equipment was to be installed at a plant in Taman, in southern Russia, and that the Russian company breached contract conditions by sending them to Crimea.

Russian authorities and Rostec, Technopromexport's owner, insisted that the turbines were transferred to Crimea legally.

In August, the EU widened sanctions against Russian companies and persons, including Technopromeksport, in response to the transfer of the turbines to Crimea.

The Russian Foreign Ministry called the decision an "unfriendly and unjustified" step.

Moscow needs the turbines for two Crimean power plants in order to ensure a stable power supply for Crimea’s residents.

The region used to rely on the Ukrainian power grid but is now dependent on Russian electricity.

With reporting by Reuters, TASS, and Interfax