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Siemens Stops Turbine Sales to Russia in Sanctions Dispute

Crimea has been starved for power since Russia annexed the territory in 2014, interrupting the flow of electricity from Ukraine. The situation has become desperate enough that President Vladimir V. Putin’s government, which owns Technopromexport, was willing to risk further alienating Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.

Siemens said it would impose a moratorium on deliveries of power plant equipment to state-controlled firms in Russia “for the time being.” A company spokesman said he could not provide information on how many existing orders would be affected, or how many sales it stands to lose.

In the future, Siemens said, it would deliver only equipment that its workers installed themselves, to ensure there were no further violations of sanctions.

In addition to halting deliveries of turbines, Siemens said it would sell its stake in Interautomatika, a Russian firm which sells and maintains technology for power plants.

Germany, and especially Siemens, once enjoyed warm trade relations with Russia, which was seen as a country with great economic potential that could become a major customer for German goods.

But German exports to Russia have plunged because of an economic slump there and international sanctions. German exports to Russia last year were valued at $ 24 billion, half as much as in 2012, according to the German federal statistics office.

The German Foreign Ministry had no immediate comment. In a speech this month, Markus Ederer, a deputy foreign minister, called Russia’s relocation of the Siemens turbines “a negative signal.”

Source: NYT > World

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