Denmark Recognized that “Grundfos” Pumps’ Supply to Crimea Violated the European Law

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As our Association noticed in April, 2020 [1], on March 18 Russian propaganda, including the “official Internet resources”, reported on the “successful launch” of the Beshterek-Zuya water supply system, which was to provide 20-22 thousands cubic meters of artesian water to Simferopol daily. As it followed from the images of pumping station’s equipment distributed by the “Crimean authorities”, their main component is “Siemens” engines for pumps. Under these circumstances, “ARC” sent an official letter to “Siemens” headquarters in Munich, to the Austrian company “Siemens”, to its subsidiary in Kyiv and to the “Siemens” branch in Moscow. More, those pumps, as it flows from the photo and video of the pumping station, broadcasted by Russia’s propaganda, are the common production of German and Austrian “Siemens” and of Danish concern “Grundfos”.

As it was announced in September, 2019 “Siemens” and “Grundfos” signed a digital partnership framework for strategic cooperation between the two companies. Such partnership “focused on the complementary products and solutions provided by both parties in three main areas: water and wastewater applications, industrial automation and building technology”. “Grundfos” and “Siemens” agreed to “set new standards” by “digital, cloud-based solution” “to monitor motors, pumps, and systems, and use plant data for process optimization” [1].

So our Association sent on April, official letters, to the “Grundfos” headquarters in Bjerringbro, Denmark, and to its subsidiaries in Kyiv and Moscow requesting this company to present the public explanations on its own activities in the Crimea. For this moment both European companies did not answer to our Association on the abovementioned issues, despite the huge public discussion on this topic, started by “ARC” and reflected by the key Ukrainian independent media. Also we sent letters to the national ministries of foreign affairs of Denmark and Germany on April, 2021 on the above-pointed situation.

Such long silence may be explained by the purpose of this pump station is to provide the additional water supply to Russian military bases in the Crimea, which function illegally in Simferopol District and for more than 100 thousands of Russian citizens, resettled by the Russian Government illegally to Simferopol. So this pump station is a direct tool of the international crimes, committed by the Russian de-facto “authorities” in Crimea that are now the subject of consideration by the International Criminal Court.

More, this pump station is the tool of ecocide the unique Crimean Zuya river valley’s hydrologic ecosystem as this station’s functioning will cause the further dehydration of these areas, will destroy its unique landscapes. More, dehydration the Zuya valley will cause the social disaster for this valley’s residents including the indigenous Crimean Tatar People. And more, the supply of engineering equipment to the Crimea is banned by the European Union’s sanctions, which are in force. So deliveries, maintenance and insurance of the relevant “Grundfos” and “Siemens” equipment to the Beshterek-Zuya water intake’s pump station is the brutal violation of the European Union’s sanctions policy.

Later, in July 2021 our Association also informed the key German and Danish ecologic organizations on those negative issues. We already got the confirmations from some of those NGO structures that they will start work on this problem and we will cooperate with them on point on further legal responsibility of “Siemens” and “Grundfos” for the committed violations the international humanitarian and human rights law [2]. After the relevant civil activists’ and journalists’ investigations started, our Association got official submission from the Danish Business Authority (state structure of Danish Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs) dated 6 July, 2021 that informed us that DBA as the relevant Danish national competent authority passed the investigation on possible breach of Council Regulation (EU) 692/2014 concerning restrictive measures in response to the illegal attempted annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol [3].

The DBA made “Grundfos” aware of Regulation, specifically article 2b (1), whereby it is prohibited to sell, supply, transfer or export goods and technology as listed in Annex II to any natural or legal person entity or body in Crimea or Sevastopol, or for use in Crimea or Sevastopol. DBA pointed the fact that pumps produced by “Grundfos” were present in Crimea therefore objectively constituted a breach of the Regulation, and the DBA therefore urged “Grundfos” to supply the DBA with all relevant information regarding these allegations. The DBA also made “Grundfos” aware that this information could be used in a potential criminal case against them, and asked “Grundfos” to sign a statement of consent, whereby “Grundfos” accepted to supply the relevant information to the DBA regardless of the right to withhold this information, of the principle of self-incrimination.

On the 20th of April, “Grundfos” responded to the DBA letter and informed the DBA that the water pumps are covered by CN-code 8413 as listed in Annex II to Regulation (EU) 692/2014. “Grundfos” also informed the DBA that they were able to track the specific order of pumps and that “Grundfos” had allegedly “no knowledge of the fact that the pumps were to be used in Crimea”. “Grundfos” explained that the water pumps are allegedly “standard products”, and that the pumps were originally sold to a Russian water utility company which did not generate any hits in their sanctions screening procedures. This Russian company had allegedly informed “Grundfos” that the pumps were to be used in the Russian region Krasnodar and that “Grundfos” own investigation into this matter has shown that the pumps were allegedly “later resold numerous times”.

To ascertain whether Annex II in the Regulation (EU) 692/2014 encompasses the water pumps in question, The DBA consulted the Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization (DALO) who carried out a technical review of the specific water pumps. DALO concluded that the water pumps are encompassed in Annex II to The Regulation, as the water pumps are “pumps for liquid” falling within CN-code 8413. At the same time DALO further concluded that the export of such water pumps are not subject to a license under Council Regulation (EU) 428/2009 (dual-use) and that the pumps are not subject to a prior authorisation as per article 3 of Council Regulation (EU) 833/2014 concerning restrictive measures in view of Russia’s Actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine.

As the water pumps could be exported to Russia (but not to the Crimea), and based on the information that “Grundfos” has supplied, the DBA concluded that “Grundfos’” actions cannot give rise to any liability as they allegedly “did not know and had no reasonable cause to suspect” that their actions would infringe the measures set out in the Regulation, regarding its article 5. Based on the abovementioned, the DBA on the 17th of June informed “Grundfos” that the DBA would not be pursuing this matter further. The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs will inform the Embassy of Ukraine and the European Commission about the DBA’s investigation of this case upon our Association’s application and about its conclusions.

Our Association does not agree with such DBA position as DBA clearly established in this investigation  2021-11885 that “Grundfos” water pumps’ supply to the Crimea violated brutally the EU Law, including the demands of the Regulation (EU) 692/2014. Position of “Grundfos” concern as they allegedly “did not know” about the real purpose of its equipment seems to be the clear manipulation, as those water pumps are not “standard products” for the concern and more, “Grundfos” recognized to DBA that the concern may “track the specific order of pumps”, but recognized it after the problem become a public one.

So our Association will give own position to the European Commission on this case, as for needs to enforce and develop the Regulation (EU) 692/2014 mechanisms, including the issues of the goods’ tracking and export contract policies for the EU companies’. Also the information on the above-pointed violations will be transferred by our Association to all Ukrainian legal enforcement bodies, including the issue of Ukraine’s future position in the case “Russia v. Ukraine” 36958/21 in European Court of Human Rights where Russia demanded Court to order the Ukrainian authorities to start the supply the water to the Crimea by the North Crimean Canal and alleged the “violations of right to water” for the Crimean residents. In that case European Court decided now to reject this Russia’s request since it clearly “did not involve a serious risk of irreparable harm of a core right under the European Convention on Human Rights”, but the Court will research the admissibility of this claim [4]. Also the collaboration of “Grundfos” with Russian invaders, committing the international crimes in the Crimea will be described by our Association to the International Criminal Court. So the issues of “Grundfos” concern’s criminal cahoot with Russian “authorities” will be researched soon on the international level, as the DBA’ controversial role on those issues.

1. https://arc.construction/13312

2. https://arc.construction/17455

3. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A02014R0692-20141220

4. https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng-press#{%22itemid%22:[%22003-7085775-9583164%22]}

ARC

Post Author: Intercourier

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