Siemens complained of fraud

Technopromexport sold the Siemens turbines to its structure in six months after it was ordered.
Rostekh's structure Tekhnopromexport OJSC intentionally deceived Siemens Gas Turbine Technologies (JV Siemens and Power Machines Alexei Mordashov). This was stated at the court session by a representative of the German concern. According to him, "Technopromexport" in the fall of 2015 resold the turbines bought from "Siemens gas turbine technology" and from the very beginning knew that they would be delivered to the Crimea.

Place of delivery - Crimea

"Siemens gas turbine technology" in March 2015 concluded an agreement with JSC "Tekhnopromexport" on the supply of four turbines for the construction of stations on the Taman Peninsula in the Krasnodar Territory in order to cover the deficit of the energy system of the Crimea. Then the US and the EU have already imposed sanctions against Russia. In particular, the European forbade the supply of equipment for energy facilities on the peninsula of Crimea. And Technopromexport in 2015 was determined by the builder of two power plants in Sevastopol and Simferopol. In order to comply with the sanctions regime, the contract was supplemented by several provisions: that the plant could refuse to supply turbines, if it could violate the sanctions, that Tekhnopromexport OJSC undertakes not to use the purchased equipment in the Crimea, and the only place for delivery of turbines is Taman.

But, as Siemens later learned, half a year after the deal, in October 2015, Tekhnopromexport resold the turbines to another structure of Rostek, OOO Tekhnopromexport. From this contract items on sanctions, the place of delivery and the impossibility of using turbines in the Crimea were excluded. The transfer of equipment from one Rostekh structure to another was to happen on the same day when OAO Tekhnopromexport will receive it from Siemens Gas Turbine Technology, a Siemens representative said. According to him, in the negotiations with Siemens, OAO Tekhnopromexport continued to behave as if nothing had happened, and to be the owner of turbines, to make commitments.

Competition for the construction of stations in Taman did not take place. In the second half of 2016 the Ministry of Energy held a tender for construction, but it did not take place. In response to Siemens' request, the Ministry of Energy of Russia confirmed that this power plant is needed, but in fact the project is frozen, the representative of the concern told the court (the representative of the Ministry of Energy denied this). And in September 2016 JSC "Technopromexport" announced a tender for the sale of turbines, although they had already been sold.

In the summer of this year, after it turned out that the turbines in the Crimea, Siemens said that he was ready to buy them back. Technopromexport answered that the concern had such an opportunity at the tender, but it did not use it and the turbines were sold to another company.

On Tuesday, a representative of Technopromexport refused to comment until the next hearing, which is scheduled for December 14. But he noted that the arguments of Siemens are diverted from the essence of the dispute and unreasonable. "Virtually all of Siemens' efforts are aimed at forcing Russian companies to work in Russia under foreign rules imposed from abroad, which in itself is absurd," he said.

Mission - to return the turbines

In court, Siemens demands to stop the installation of turbines in the Crimea and return them. The sanctions clauses in the contract limit the delivery place, and there is no ban on the turnover of the ordered equipment, Irina Nastya, partner of Nafko-Consultants, Irina Mostovaya, notes. But if Siemens manages to prove the fact of fraud, it can play a significant role in proving the invalidity of the transaction, said Rustam Kurmaev, managing partner of Rustam Kurmaev and Partners. It is unlikely that the new circumstances will affect the process, Denis Frolov, partner of BMS Law Firm, disagrees: such evidence, as a rule, is not perceived by the court as evidence - it will be necessary to provide correspondence or records of conversations, but even then the court may not add them to the case.

Most likely, Siemens filed a lawsuit in the Russian court in order to protect itself from attacks in Europe, Frolov said. Siemens interest is to prove that the company did not know and could not know about violation of sanctions, otherwise serious reputational and regulatory risks arise for it, Kurmaev agrees. If Siemens wins, instead of equipment that is unlikely to be dismantled, Technopromexport will have to pay a cash equivalent, adds Mostovaya. Given that the company is in the process of bankruptcy, this is also hard to believe, she believes.