The European Union’s sanctions blacklist of 150 people and 37 entities in Russia – all subject to an asset freeze and a travel ban – could grow. Germany is calling on Brussels to add up to four more Russian nationals and companies to the list.
Germany’s stance is in response to news that Siemens gas turbines were delivered to Moscow-annexed Crimea, two sources in Brussels told the Reuters news agency.
The EU has barred its firms from doing business with Crimea since the 2014 annexation, imposed sanctions on Russian individuals and entities, and curbed cooperation with Russia in energy, arms and finance over its role in the crisis in Ukraine.
After it annexed Crimea from Kiev, Moscow threw its support behind a separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine, which has killed more than 10,000 people and is still simmering.
“The regular review would normally be the moment to look at who is on the list. In the past, when there were good grounds, we’ve added entries to the list,” one EU official was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Siemens, trying to distance itself from the scandal, last week said it was halting deliveries of power equipment to Russian state-controlled customers and reviewing supply deals.
Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak played down the potential consequences of a halt.
“What Siemens supplies can be delivered by other companies,” Novak told reporters in St Petersburg. “As for electricity generation, we… have now learnt to produce the necessary equipment,” he said, without referring to the prospect of additional sanctions.
Siemens says it has evidence that all four turbines it delivered for a project in southern Russia had been illegally moved to Crimea.
Meanwhile, Russia’s RT news channel noted that turbines are necessary for the new power stations on the Crimean peninsula after the region was cut off from the Ukrainian power grid.
Russian company Technopromexport said it purchased the turbines in the secondary market, with domestic engineering companies modernising them.