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Sanctions against Russia’s senior energy officials illegal - minister

Energy Ministry awaits explanation
Energy Minister Alexander Novak Alexander Shcherbak/TASS
Energy Minister Alexander Novak
© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

SKOLKOVO /near Moscow/, January 27. /TASS/. Washington’s sanctions imposed on Friday on Russian Deputy Energy Minister Andrei Cherezov and ministry’s department head Yevgeny Grabchak are illegal and the Energy Ministry awaits explanation from the United States, Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters on Saturday.

"We view them as absolutely illegal and we have been given no arguments," Novak said. "We will be waiting for some explanation. People are working, performing their state duties. They keep working and these bans just create additional tensions".

U.S. new sanctions

On Friday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced a wider list of Russian individuals and companies subject to sanctions imposed on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis.

The extended list includes individuals and companies, allegedly involved in supplies of the Siemens turbines to Crimea - Alexei Mordashov’s company Power Machines, which has been cooperating with Siemens in production of turbines, as well as the Technopromexport engineering company (part of the Rostec State Corporation), which is building two power plants in Crimea.

Technopromexport’s Director General Sergei Topor-Gilka, Deputy Energy Minister Andrei Cherezov and Head of the Department of Operational Control and Management in Electric Power Industry at the Russian Energy Ministry Yevgeny Grabchak are among the blacklisted individuals.

Earlier, the EU added Cherezov, Grabchak and Topor-Gilka to the expanded sanctions list along with Russia’s Technopromexport and Interavtomatika companies over the supplies of Siemens turbines to Crimea bypassing European sanctions.

Technopromexport filed a lawsuit to the European Court of Justice against the Council of the European Union demanding the sanctions be lifted. A separate lawsuit was filed by Topor-Gilka.