The U.S. government has imposed new sanctions against Russia over Ukraine conflict. In particular, Russia was sanctioned over the gas turbines produced by Siemens that had been delivered to Crimea. Siemens claimed that the delivery of the turbines to Crimea was a contract breach and filed a lawsuit challenging their use in the occupied region.
On 26 January 2018, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced new sanctions against Russian Deputy Energy Minister Andrei Cherezov and other Russian officials for supplying turbines to a power plant located in Crimea occupied by Russia. As a result, these officials are de facto excluded from the U.S. financial system; their assets in the U.S. territory can be frozen.
The turbines were supplied by the German Siemens Group for use in Russia, but were later brought to Crimea. Siemens said the delivery of its turbines to Crimea was a contract breach and that it wanted the turbines to be moved back to their original destination.
Therefore, Siemens was not sanctioned since the turbines were supposed to be used in Russia and the company filed a lawsuit challenging their use in Crimea. Siemens also initiated criminal charges against the responsible individuals. Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser participated in a dinner with the U.S. President Donald Trump in Davos.
Moreover, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has imposed sanctions against several “ministers” of the self-proclaimed government of the eastern Ukrainian breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk identified as top separatist officials in eastern Ukraine. In total, 21 individuals and nine institutions were targeted.
The Russian Foreign Ministry threatened Washington with countermeasures. The Russian Foreign Ministry claims that the U.S. government is leading an “absurd sanctioning campaign that has failed and will lead to no result.”
Since annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea by the Russian Federation in early 2014 and the outbreak of conflict in eastern Ukraine, the U.S. has imposed asset freezes, travel bans, and related sanctions on a number of Russian nationals and companies, as well as officials of the self-proclaimed eastern Ukrainian republics.