European Union to Expand Russia Sanctions Over Crimea Siemens Scandal

European Union to Expand Russia Sanctions Over Crimea Siemens Scandal

European Union to Expand Russia Sanctions Over Crimea Siemens Scandal

The latest sanctions come in response to the delivery of the gas turbines to Crimea in violation of European Union bans.

The EU first introduced sanctions on Russian Federation after the 2014 military takeover of the Black Sea peninsula from Kiev, and stepped them up repeatedly as Moscow then backed separatist unrest in the east of Ukraine. Earlier sanctions by the European body had barred doing business in Crimea.

The European Union has slapped sanctions on three Russians including top energy officials and three companies accused of involvement in the transfer of gas turbines to Crimea.

"This decision contributes to the establishment of independent power supplies to the Crimea and Sevastopol, which supports their separation from Ukraine and undermines Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence", the report says.

Three companies, including Technopromexport, were also targeted by the new sanctions.

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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. 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.

The latest wave of sanctions complements a blacklist that already contains 150 people and 37 firms subject to an asset freeze and a travel ban over the crisis in eastern Ukraine. "In order to use the U.S. gas it is necessary to construct big gas liquefaction plants in the United States, deliver gas to Europe and then utilize it in power grids", Alessandrello told Sputnik.

The legal acts, including the names of the persons and the statements of reasons for listing them, are available in the EU Official Journal of 4 August 2017.

Shortly after the announcement of the new sanctions on Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry denounced the decision and expressed "deep regret" over the move by Brussels, calling the punitive measures "unfriendly, unjustified and unsubstantiated".

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