Contract with Siemens for purchase of new Sapsan trains suspended, existing trains will still be serviced - Belozerov
MOSCOW. March 22 (Interfax) - The contract for the purchase of new Sapsan high-speed trains has been suspended, Russian Railways (RZD) head Oleg Belozerov said during an 'open dialogue' in the Federation Council.
"Last year we bought and received an additional three [Sapsan] trains, brand new ones, which are now due to undergo certification. We believe that regardless of how the situation unfolds, we will try to launch this new rolling stock before the summer, by the time of the St. Petersburg Forum. But we have been informed that at the moment the contract is suspended for the purchase - accordingly, I cannot answer 100% for the fate [of the contract], namely the purchase of Sapsans," Belozerov said.
"We and Siemens had been negotiating regarding Sapsan until the last day, and they looked for options, how, clearly trying to factor in the sanctions, and where they could continue to operate. At the moment, the service agreement is valid, despite the fact that I received a letter saying that 'if there are any adjustments, something may change in our relationship.' But we have Sinara, we have Ural Locomotives, we have quite a lot of competencies, which, fortunately, together with our colleagues, we wisely transferred here, to Russia," he said.
"So our [Lastochka] trains are effectively 88% import-free, and we assume the Sapsans will run. If any nuances arise we'll tweak the spare parts accordingly, look for options as to how it will work," he said.