Monday, 23 October, 2017

Moscow regards new European Union sanctions as far-fetched

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Derrick Tucker | 06 August, 2017, 01:32

"Establishing an independent power supply for Crimea and Sevastapol supports their separation from Ukraine and undermines the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine", the European Council, which defines the EU's overall political direction and priorities, said in a statement.

The new tightening came in response to the delivery of Siemens' gas turbines to Crimea in violation of European Union sanctions, which bar doing business there since Russia's annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine, a move which has not been internationally recognized.

Siemens said last month it was scaling back its Russian operations after finding out that the four turbines had been "illegally" modified and moved to Crimea, which Russia annexed in March 2014.

On Friday, the European Union added to the sanctions list three Russian officials: 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.

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Han Chol-Su, a senior North Korea development official, earlier denied that the loss of business would hurt his country's economy. He said that Iran's expansionist intention was aimed to increase its influence in the Middle East and other parts of the world.

The fact that electricity turbines produced by Germany's Siemens had been delivered to Crimea, Ukraine's Black Sea Peninsula which was annexed by Russian Federation in 2014, in spite of the bans in the European Union's sanctions against Moscow, was first revealed by media reports in early July. Western companies are now prohibited from doing business in Crimea.

In April, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told the Russian Parliament that "work is continuing despite problems related to the delivery of equipment from a Western company". "And so be it until the full restoration of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including Crimea!" he wrote on Facebook. The measures include the reduction of the United States' diplomatic presence to 455 people, or the same number of Russian diplomatic workers now residing in the United States.

It said the turbines originally had been sold for use at the Taman power plant in southern Russian Federation. The latest additions complement a blacklist that already contains 150 people and 37 entities subject to an asset freeze and a travel ban over the turmoil in Ukraine.

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