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Siemens allegedly boycotted Israel to sign a contract with Turkiye

14 February 2023
Reading time ~ 2 min
High-speed trains by Siemens Mobility for Türkiye
High-speed trains by Siemens Mobility for Turkiye. Source: Siemens
Belov Sergey, Editor-in-Chief, ROLLINGSTOCK Agency
Reading time ~ 2 min
Savenkova Ekaterina, Editorial Contributor to International Projects of ROLLINGSTOCK Agency

Germany: An investigation by journalists of SWR, a German public broadcasting corporation, alleges that the company broke the law and could face a fine of up to €500,000. The evidence is based on Siemens’ internal documents obtained by the media. According to the manufacturer, the accusations are groundless.

The German manufacturer could join a boycott the Arab League and the African Union organised against Israel, claim SWR’s journalists. They believe Siemens resorted to such a move contrary to the German export laws to secure an order by TCDD, a national rail company, in 2018. The €340 mln contract provided for the supply of 10 Velaro TR high-speed trains with a maximum speed of 300km/h, and their maintenance. According to the journalists, the Islamic Development Bank, Saudi Arabia, that granted TCDD a loan demanded a boycott clause in the contract.

Siemens denies SWR’s accusations and claims that no boycott-related documents were signed. However, il Fatto Quotidiano, an Italian daily newspaper, mentions the deal that made the German manufacturer disclose a list of Velaro TR’s components without a single item produced in Israel. No official actions have been taken yet in the wake of the publication.

Meanwhile, Siemens signed a major contract with Israel Railways in 2017. For $1 bln, the company was expected to supply 60 four- and six-car Desiro HC double-deck EMUs, ensure their maintenance and construct a depot. The option covered ten more trains. Siemens started delivering the rolling stock at the end of 2020. As for Türkiye, the manufacturer supplied 19 eight-car Velaro TRs between 2015 and 2021.