Written Question: Hentong’s compliance with EU sanctions and its participation in the EU market

(Source: European Parliament)

Date submitted: 2 March 2021

Priority question for written answer P-001213/2021
to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Rule 138
Maria Spyraki (PPE)

Subject: Hentong’s compliance with EU sanctions and its participation in the EU market

In December 2020, the European Council decided to prolong, until 31 July 2021, its 2014 restrictive measures targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy in response to Russia’s attempts to destabilise the situation in Ukraine. The sanctions, among others, prohibit Russian access to certain sensitive technologies that could be used in the Russian energy sector.

Recent reports refer to efforts made on behalf of Russia to ensure supply of electricity to Crimea, which has no access to Ukraine’s electricity supplies. Those efforts included the creation of an ‘energy bridge’ through undersea cables from Russia to Crimea in order to restore power. According to the same report, a Chinese company, Hengtong, was commissioned by Russia to lay new transmission lines on either side of the Kerch Strait to connect the new cables to the existing networks. This project has been completed.

In the light of the above, can the VP/HR answer the following questions:

  1. Is it acceptable for companies to use references from a project such that mentioned above, which is the result of stifled competition due to sanctions, when bidding for similar EU projects, or could this be an exclusion criterion?
  2. How are such practices compatible with the new Comprehensive Agreement on Investments between the EU and China, which calls for a values‑based trade agenda, when a Chinese company is ignoring values‑based sanctions imposed on Russia?
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