According to local media, residents in most Simferopol districts have had running water for 18 hours a day since the end of April. That’s three times more water than in previous years. Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, getting water to the Ukrainian peninsula has been difficult.
Prior to annexation, water was brought in via a canal from the Dnieper River. However, following Russia’s annexation, Ukrainian authorities blocked access. Water scarcity has become so severe that many observers believe recent tensions between Moscow and Kyiv may even spark another Russian invasion.
The Beshterek-Zuysky waterworks were built to tap an artesian aquifer to improve Simferopol’s water supply. Since the middle of March, the goal has been to supply water to roughly one-third of the city’s population using powerful, modern pumps.
However, according to the Russian anti-corruption initiative Scanner Project, the pumps are not Russian but Danish. The group learned this after enlarging images of pumps shown on Russian television and seeing the name of Danish pump manufacturer Grundfos.
According to Russian state media, only Russian technology was used in the project. Since Crimea’s annexation in 2014, the EU has imposed sanctions prohibiting the sale of specific goods and technology, including waterworks equipment.
“The supply contracts of the Siemens AG and its subsidiaries contain all the necessary export control and end-of-use clauses,” a Siemens official said.
Regulations governing the final destination of goods are the norm for global corporations, according to Thomas Heidemann, a partner at CMS law in Moscow.
“The buyer-reseller is required to sign an end-user certificate on which the customers and final users of the equipment are named,” said Heidemann, whose firm advises German investors in Russia. “The European supplier then keeps this end-user certificate and can demonstrate that it did everything possible to avoid a sanctions violation.”
According to Grundfos Vice President Peter Trillingsgaard, the company is unaware of any deliveries to the annexed peninsula. There was also no mention of an end-of-life clause with either the importer or the end-user in Russia.
“If we suspect a violation of sanctions during the sales process, we will ask for the end-identification. user’s Our internal investigations have revealed no transactions or correspondence that indicate a violation of our internal rules “Peter Trillingsgaard, Vice President of Grundfos, stated.
Representatives from the company’s headquarters emphasized that Grundfos adheres to both international and Russian law. These laws, however, can be in conflict with one another.
After importing equipment to Russia, a company’s Russian subsidiary cannot require customers to provide written assurances that the products will not be used in Crimea, according to Russian law.
“When delivering machines, the European supplier must observe the European sanctions. If it does not, it is not permitted to ship the goods. It is usually possible to deliver to a Russian subsidiary,” Heidemann said.
According to Trillingsgaard, his company has no idea how its products ended up in Crimea. “From what we can see in the video, the products installed in Crimea are standard pumps that Grundfos frequently sells to OEMs/equipment manufacturers who use the pumps as components in larger products that are then sold,” he explained. “As a result, we have no idea how our products ended up in Crimea.”
Grundfos has stated that it will not provide maintenance for the equipment in Crimea.
Authorities in Denmark are now investigating whether Grundfos was aware of the product shipments to Crimea.
Denmark’s export control regulators stated that the matter was being investigated and that if necessary, a thorough investigation into possible violations of EU sanctions would be conducted. According to Danish authorities, violations of sanctions are punishable by a fine or imprisonment of up to four months in Denmark, and up to four years in particularly aggravating circumstances.