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Siemens Cuts Some Russia Ties Over Crimea Turbines Scandal


File photo
File photo

The German industrial conglomerate Siemens says it is cutting some of its ties to Russia after receiving information that four gas turbines it sold to for use at a Russian power plant had been "illegally" diverted to the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.

Siemens said in a July 21 statement that it will halt deliveries of power-generation equipment under existing contracts with Russian state-controlled entities "for the time being" in response to the transfer of the turbines to Crimea.

Crimea has been subjected to EU sanctions on energy technology since Russia seized control of the Black Sea peninsula in March 2014 by sending in troops and staging a referendum deemed illegitimate by most countries.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said last week that the government was following the case "with great attention" and that "the facts of the matter need to be clarified as quickly and comprehensively as possible."

Siemens, which has its headquarters in Munich, said in the statement that it had not yet found indications that export-control regulations were violated but that it now has "credible information" that the turbines ended up in Crimea.

It added that it would pull out of Interautomatika, a Russian power-plant joint venture.

The Kremlin said the issue was a matter for the companies involved and that it would not comment further.

With reporting by Reuters, AFP, AP, and dpa
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