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Russian minister says power project in Crimea will go ahead

ISTANBUL, July 10 (Reuters) - Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Monday that construction of two power plants in Crimea would go ahead.

He was asked for comment about the project after Germany's Siemens' said in a statement on Monday that at least two of its gas turbines had been moved "against its will" from Russia to Crimea - a region subject to sanctions barring EU firms providing it with energy technology.

Novak did not mention the German company by name but said: "The project will be implemented in any case."

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Istanbul, he added that the Crimea region needed the power plants and the first stations could be launched in the first quarter of 2018. (Reporting by Olesya Astakhova; writing by Polina Devitt; editing by Susan Fenton)