Berlin takes control of Russian energy Giant Rosneft in Germany
Germany is taking control of Russian companies on its territories as the German economy staggers under the weight of the self-imposed sanctions-induced energy crisis.
The German government announced on Friday that it was taking control of the German operations of Russian energy firm Rosneft in a bid to secure energy supplies affected by the European sanctions on Russia in the wake of the Ukraine war.
Germany placed the German subsidiaries of Rosneft under the trusteeship of the Federal Network Agency, the economy ministry said in a statement.
"The trust management will counter the threat to the security of energy supply," it said, as Rosneft's subsidiaries make up around 12% of the country's oil refining capacity.
The companies affected by the decision are Rosneft Deutschland GmbH (RDG) and RN Refining & Marketing GmbH (RNRM), in addition to PCK Schwedt, MiRo, and Bayernoil, all of which are refineries.
PCK Schwedt, in particular, is highly vital for Germany, as it supplies around 90% of the oil consumed in Berlin and its vicinity, including the Berlin-Brandenburg international airport.
By circumventing their own sanctions aimed at punishing Russia for the Ukraine war, Berlin taking control of the sites allows it to continue operating the refineries using crude from countries other than Russia.
Germany, like the rest of Europe, has been struggling in light of the meager amount of Russian energy making it to the continent due to the sanctions, prompting various measures from local governments and the European Commission to try and tackle the spiraling energy crisis.
The European Commission had prepared suggestions on measures aimed at tackling soaring energy prices to be discussed by the energy ministers of the bloc’s member states. The suggestions include the proposal to introduce a price cap on Russian natural gas.
However, the bloc failed to agree on the cap, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Peter Szijjarto revealed Friday.
EU chief Ursula von der Leyen proposed that the bloc's 27 nations agree on placing a price cap on Russian gas imports.
Von der Leyen's decision comes as a means of imposing further sanctions on Russia as the West looks for more means of punishing the country over the war in Ukraine.
13 EU nations have either ceased getting Russian gas entirely or are only receiving a portion of it due to the temporary blockage of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, the Russian TASS news agency reported last week.
Surging costs of power linked to gas prices have already stunted the production of various industries, such as fertilizers and aluminum manufacturers, and prompted EU governments to increase their spending by billions in order to help their citizens.
Italy and Germany are now the two largest European countries most exposed to a gas supply shock due to their extensive use of natural gas and significant reliance on Russia, according to S&P Global Ratings.
About 60% of Germany's natural gas supply was piped in from Russia in 2020, primarily under long-term contracts.