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Russian Energy Minister Downplays Fallout From Siemens Turbines Controversy

Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak

Russia’s energy minister downplayed any risk to the country’s oil sector following the disputed delivery of gas turbines built by Siemens to the Crimea peninsula.

The German industrial giant said last week it would stop delivering power plant equipment to Russia after the four turbines were shipped Crimea against the company’s policy and in violation of a contract with a Russian partner.

Asked by reporters in St. Petersburg July 24 whether the Siemens decision could affect Russia’s oil industry, Aleksandr Novak said no.

"We have a competitive market in the country. So what Siemens supplies can be delivered by other companies,” he was quoted as saying.

"As for electricity generation, we...have now learnt to produce the necessary equipment," he said.

Germany has urged the European Union to add four more Russian individuals and companies to the EU sanctions list over the dispute.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, prompting the EU and the United States to impose a series of economic sanctions.

Based on reporting by Reuters, Interfax