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Exclusive: Russia appears to deliver more turbines to Crimea - Reuters witnesses

Reuters  |  FEODOSIA, Crimea 

By Anton Zverev

FEODOSIA, (Reuters) - Two more gas appear to have been delivered to Russian-controlled Crimea, according to two reporters who saw the equipment at the port of Feodosia, potentially deepening a row over sanctions compliance in which Germany's has become embroiled.

has no independent confirmation the equipment on the dock was Siemens-made It comprised four cylindrical objects, several metres long, and covered with blue and grey tarpaulins.

Their dimensions and shape match publicly-available photographs of gas turbine systems, which each consist of two major components: the turbine itself and a generator.

said earlier this week that at least two of a total of four it sold to Russian state firm Technopromexport had been delivered to against its wishes and without its knowledge. seized the region from in 2014 and it is now subject to European sanctions on energy technology.

The German company filed a lawsuit against Technopromexport in Moscow on Tuesday requiring it to return the to their original destination, Taman, Munich-based spokesman Wolfram Trost said.

Taman, in southern Russia, is not subject to sanctions.

On Wednesday, Yashar Azad, a spokesman for at its Bavarian headquarters, said the company was still trying to establish all the facts, including the location of the two other turbines, and had nothing to add to its previous statements.

Technopromexport, the Russian state company building the Crimean power plants, and Russia's energy ministry, declined to comment.

Asked if the pieces of equipment at the port were turbines, a government official in told Reuters: "Come on, we can't talk about that. You understand: sanctions, "

"Of course, this whole story is going to come out, but let it come out without us," said this source, who did not want to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue.

If the equipment that arrived in Feodosia is Siemens-made, it would show that is pressing ahead with its plan, despite the lawsuit and a warning this week from the German government that the use of in could harm future German investment in

In the early hours of Thursday morning, two low-loader trucks carrying two of the pieces of equipment emerged from the port and set off in the direction of the Crimean city of Simferopol.

plans to install at a power plant under construction in Simferopol, three sources close to the project told earlier this month.

The slow-moving convoy was escorted by police vehicles, and police officers in body armour walked alongside the trucks on either side. Police and state security agents prevented a journalist from following the convoy.

The affair has shone a harsh spotlight on how serious the European Union, its member states, and European companies are about enforcing the sanctions, imposed on after it annexed from in 2014.

said on Monday it did everything possible to ensure compliance with sanctions.


said in 2015 it needs four in total for new power stations on the Crimean peninsula, which cut from its electricity grid after it lost control. President Vladimir Putin promised the region's residents last year that he would ensure a stable power supply.

Two of the are for a power plant under construction in the city of Sevastopol, and the other two for a plant being built in Simferopol.

On Tuesday, workers could be seen around the equipment at Feodosia port dressed in blue uniforms. reporters had observed the same uniforms on workers at Crimea's Simferopol and Sevastopol power stations, where, according to the three sources, Siemens-made are to be installed.

has said the two it has confirmed had been transferred to had been among four sold to Technopromexport for use in a proposed power plant in Taman. Taman is on the Russian mainland 10 km (8 miles) east of across the Kerch Strait.

A source close to the power plants project told last week, on condition of anonymity, that the plan was to deliver the second set of two produced by to Feodosia port this month.

(Additional reporting by Anastasia Lyrchikova and Gleb Stolyarov in MOSCOW and Georgina Prodhan in FRANKFURT; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Philippa Fletcher)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, July 13 2017. 14:31 IST