Germany seizes control of Russian oil refineries
Berlin is taking control of the German subsidiaries of Russian oil major Rosneft, Rosneft Deutschland (RDG) and RN Refining & Marketing, putting them under trust management for six months, the Ministry of Economics announced on Friday.
According to the ministry, control will be given to the grid regulator Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency of Germany). Officials explained that the step was taken to ensure the operation of three Rosneft oil refineries in Schwedt, Karlsruhe and Vohburg, which was jeopardized after critical service providers, insurers and banks allegedly refused to work with the Russian company.
“The legal basis for the order was Article 17 of the Energy Security Act. According to it, a company that operates critical infrastructure in the energy sector can be placed under management if there is a specific risk that without management the company will not be able to perform its tasks that ensure the functioning of society in the energy sector, as well as if there is a risk of disruption of security of supply,” the ministry said in a statement.
Rosneft enterprises account for about 20% of oil refinery capacities in Germany, making it one of the largest in the country.
“The decision was not an easy one, but the important thing is that production is secured… That way we make ourselves more independent from Russia and also from the decisions that are made there,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told reporters on Friday. He added that Berlin does not plan to change the ownership of Rosneft Deutschland in the future.
Earlier this year, Berlin took over another Russian subsidiary, Gazprom Germania, and last month reports emerged that the government had secretly created a holding company to nationalize the firm.
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