Moscow thinks that the politicization of Siemens gas turbines deliveries to Crimea is counter-productive, and sanctions imposed by the EU over the issue are completely unacceptable, a senior Russian diplomat said in an interview published Thursday.

“I would not refer to this case as a scandal. It is a dispute of economic entities, which is subject to judicial settlement. In addition, we consider it counterproductive to politicize this issue,” Sergei Nechayev, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s department responsible for relations with Germany, told the Kommersant newspaper.

The diplomat said that the ministry was discussing this issue directly with German partners.

“The extension of sanctions restrictions, initiated by Germany in the context of the Siemens case, as well as the inflation of an information campaign, in which statements about the incompetence of Russian companies are allowed, are absolutely unacceptable steps that do not contribute to a civilized solution to the problem,” Nechayev added.

In July, German tech giant Siemens discovered that its four gas turbines provided for a project in southern Russia’s Taman had been moved to Crimea, where Russia was building two thermal plants. Following the incident, the company decided to annul a power plant supply license agreement and suspend power equipment deliveries to Russian state companies. On August 4, the European Union added three Russian nationals and three companies involved in the turbines scandal to the sanctions list, saying that their actions “undermined Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence.”

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