Moscow regards new European Union sanctions as far-fetched

Posted August 05, 2017

The European Union added three people and three companies to its list of sanctions over Russia's "illegal annexation" of Ukraine's Crimea region.

The updated blacklist includes Russian Deputy Energy Minister Andrey Cherezov, the head of the department of operational control and management in Russia's electric power industry Evgeniy Grabchak and state firm Technopromexport CEO Sergey Topor-Gilka.

The three Russian nationals and three companies added to the European Union blacklist over Russia's encroachments against Ukraine were involved in the transfer of the Siemens gas turbines to Crimea, it said.

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The company said that all four of its turbines intended for a project in Russia's southern Krasnodar Territory were illegally delivered to Crimea.

S&P Global Ratings said the latest sanctions against Moscow had "no immediate implications" for Russia's sovereign credit ratings, but analysts said tension between the two countries would limit upside in Russian assets.

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.

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The EU - which has a strict policy of refusing to recognise Moscow's annexation of Crimea - said 153 people and 40 companies had now been targeted by individual sanctions against Russian Federation.

Gas turbines are a "substantial element" in the development of new power plants, the council said.

A German government spokesman reportedly said that that Russian President Vladimir Putin himself had personally assured Berlin the turbines would not end up in Crimea.

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The European Union (EU) said it was ready if needed to retaliate within days against new United States sanctions on Russian Federation but believes Washington wants to spare European energy firms from any fallout. On the contrary, some time ago Europe was even afraid that the U.S. President Donald Trump would lift the sanctions, thus making the European sanctions useless.