08:07 GMT29 March 2020
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    Moscow reserves the right to respond to EU anti-Russia sanctions extension over the Siemens turbines scandal, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

    Earlier in the day, the EU imposed additional sanctions on Moscow over a scandal surrounding the transfer of turbines supplied by German company Siemens to the Russian peninsula of Crimea in violation of previous Brussels' sanctions. The EU added three Russian nationals and three companies to its sanctions list over the issue.

    "We consider the reasons behind the adoption of new restrictive measures toward our country [Russia] as absolutely unsubstantiated and reserve the right to rateliate," the Foreign Ministry said.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Moscow considers the EU and the German government as those responsible for the decision of the sanctions' extension, adding that Russia regrets that such an unfriendly step toward the country has been taken.

    "Brussels' decision to add several Russian officials and companies to the EU sanctions list as a response measure to an alleged 'illegitimate' supply Siemens concern's gas turbines to Crimea causes deep regret. We consider this step undertaken on the initiative of Berlin as unfriendly and unjustified," the statement by the Foreign Ministry said.

    The ministry added that it seems that Berlin has started to expand the interpretation of sanctions restrictions "directly contradicting both the international law and the principles of international relations in general."

    "The EU and the German government will be fully responsible for this decision, including for possible expenses of Siemens and other German and European companies working in Russia."

    The ministry said it is "disappointed over the politization of the issue, which in fact is a usual commercial dispute between economic entities."

    "We also strongly reject attempts to use it as an example of the alleged dishonesty of Russian companies," the Foreign Ministry added.

    However, Russia is still interested in maintaining and developing relations with Germany and the EU, the ministry said, emphasizing that Moscow remains committed to its past obligations.

    In early July, Siemens created a task force team to investigate reports about the alleged transfer of turbines produced by Siemens Gas Turbines Technologies, a joint venture with the Russian Power Machines company, to the Crimean peninsula. On Friday, the company said that all four of its turbines intended for a project in Taman were illegally delivered to Crimea in violation of sanctions.

    On July 11, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said that the new power plants in Crimea would be equipped with turbines manufactured in Russia and not with ones imported from the West. Commenting on the situation, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that all products used in Crimea made in Russia.

    Commenting on the issue, Russia's Technopromexport (TPE) company, which is part of Rostec, said it purchased turbines for Crimean power plants in the secondary market, with Russian engineering companies modernizing them.

    Earlier, Siemens decided to annul a power plant equipment supply license agreement and suspend power equipment supplies to Russian state firms to devise new control measures, while Berlin promised a corresponding response to the violation of the agreements.

    Crimea rejoined Russia in 2014 after almost 96 percent of its voters supported the move through a referendum held in March 2014. Kiev, as well as Brussels and Washington, did not recognize the referendum results. Russian authorities have repeatedly said that the Crimean residents decided to rejoin Russia in a democratic procedure and that the referendum was conducted in compliance with the international law.


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    turbines, anti-Russian sanctions, Russian Foreign Ministry, Siemens, Germany, Crimea, Russia
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