Germany charges five over Crimea sanctions breach

Germany charges five over Crimea sanctions breach

Prosecutors in Hamburg charged four German nationals and a Swiss-French dual citizen with violating Crimea-related sanctions by helping export Siemens gas turbines to the Russian-occupied peninsula.

That’s according to a prosecution spokesperson, Reuters reports, as seen by Ukrinform.

According to the charge sheet, first reported by Wirtschaftswoche magazine, the five knew when they helped export the turbines, worth EUR 111 million ($120.11 million), from Hamburg to St. Petersburg that their ultimate destination would be two power plants in Crimea.

A Siemens spokesperson said the company continued to support authorities with their inquiries, as they had since they first learned of the case in 2016. One of the suspects was still with the company, the spokesperson added. All five suspects are contesting the charges.

Read also: Crimean Tatar leader says Russia may launch another wave of army call-up in occupied Crimea

Western companies are barred from selling to Crimea, whose 2014 annexation has not been recognized by any major government.

It should be recalled that in 2016 and 2017, reports said that several gas turbines intended for Taman in mainland Russia were transported to Crimea by a Russian partner in violation of the contract. In response to Ukrinform's question at the time, the company claimed it was done without Siemens' knowledge.

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