Occupied Crimea gets German filtration systems for two power plants, bypassing sanctions

Occupied Crimea gets German filtration systems for two power plants, bypassing sanctions

Russian company Voronezh-Aqua illegally transported filtration systems and energy equipment from the EU to the occupied Crimea with the help of Lithuanian and Czech related companies.

This is stated in a joint investigation by the Lithuanian National Broadcaster (LRT), Scanner project, and RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service.

"Despite EU sanctions banning European companies from exporting their goods to the Russian-occupied Crimea, filtration systems manufactured by a German company, Inge GmbH, were installed at the Balaklava and Tavria power plants in Crimea. A Lithuanian firm with close ties to the senior management of Russian state oil and gas company Rosneft and – through a number of companies – with the Opposition Platform – For Life member Viktor Medvedchuk was involved to that end," reads the article.

Lithuanian journalists paid attention to a video posted by Russian company Voronezh-Aqua, one of the contractors for the construction of two Crimean power plants, showing which filtration systems are installed at thermal power plants.

The journalists found out that the manufacturer of filtration systems at Crimean thermal power plants is the German company Inge GmbH.

Data from the ImportGenius import-export database confirmed that the Russian company imported Inge GmbH filtration membranes from Lithuania. They were sold by Run Engineering registered at the Kaunas free economic zone where businesses can get benefits or save on taxes.

According to investigators, on the day of delivery of filtration systems to Voronezh – December 17, 2018 – Run Engineering's license to export such goods was revoked. Law enforcement officers suspected that such equipment of the company could get to the occupied Crimea.

However, the manufacturers of the filters stated that they had no information about where their products would end up.

Voronezh-Aqua declares that the Lithuanian company is its design bureau.

At the same time, Run Engineering belongs to Marina Karmysheva through the Cypriot Nestan LTD. Shareholders of Run Engineering are closely linked to Rosneft President Igor Sechin, sanctioned by the West, as well as to Russian businessmen, brothers Dmitry Kotenko and Andrei Kotenko, and the Region Group, owned by Russian billionaire Sergey Sudarikov. In 2009-2016, Karmysheva was the director of the Cypriot Region Group, a key company in the structure of DK "Region" run by Russian Sergey Sudarikov who is believed to be a businessman close to Sechin [respectively, in some investigations Karmysheva was called “Sechin's wallet”].

The Czech company Lavimont Brno (participated in the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant near the Lithuanian capital), in turn, belongs to Lithuania’s Run Engineering. It is also known that the company supplied equipment for Russian energy projects implemented by Russian state corporations. Former shareholder and board member of the Czech company Miloslav Vimr claims that Lavimont Brno also had projects in the annexed Crimea.

It is reported that the journalists addressed the representatives of the European Commission that coordinates the common approach of the EU countries on the issue of sanctions and now await an answer.


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