Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak answers reporters’ questions during a meeting for the 2nd Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee of OPEC, in Kuwait City, on March 26, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak has said that his country will continue the building of two power plants in Crimea
Novak made the remarks on Monday after Germany’s Siemens released a statement in which it said at least two of its gas turbines had been relocated “against its will” from Russia
to Crimea, which is the target of a series of EU sanctions.
Crimea declared independence from Ukraine on March 17, 2014 and formally applied to become part of Russia following a referendum, in which 96.8 percent of participants voted in favor of the move.
Novak refrained from mentioning Siemens statement but said, “The project will be implemented in any case.”
He added that Crimea was suffering from a shortage of power plants and the first stations would become active at the beginning of 2018.
In June, European Union extended the economic sanctions against Russia for another six months. France and Germany, along other Western governments, accuse Russia of providing support to the anti-government rebels in eastern Ukraine. Russia denies any involvement in the conflict and insists that the entire mess began in early 2014 after the US and European allies aided and abetted the overthrow of a legitimate government in Ukraine.