Germany takes control of Russia’s Gazprom subsidiary in the country

BarcelonaThe German government has decided to take control of the Russian energy subsidiary Gazprom. The German government agency that oversees the electricity grid, the Budesnetzgentur, is the one that has temporarily taken control of Gazprom Germania as a trust entity. The decision was made after the Russian parent company announced that it wanted to sell its stake in the German subsidiary.

The announcement was made by Economy Minister and Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, who argued that the decision had been made to secure energy supply in Germany. The vice-chancellor has argued that the takeover of Gazprom Germania was based on a lack of legal clarity and that the Russian parent company had not complied with transparency rules when it announced that it would divest the German subsidiary.

The fear of the German executive was that everything was part of a move to prevent the expropriation of Gazprom Germania. The weekly The mirror reported that Gazprom wanted to transfer its German subsidiary to a St. Petersburg-based company. According to Habeck, it was not clear who these new owners should be, so it was decided that the German network supervisor would take over.

Gazprom Germania is key to Germany’s energy supply, as it plays a major role in gas marketing, as well as in transport, but especially in storage. In fact, the German government suspects that the Russian energy subsidiary has been playing with this storage capacity to make the price of gas even more expensive.

The large tank, half empty

In fact, one of Gazprom Germania’s subsidiaries, Astora, manages Germany’s largest warehouse in Lower Saxony, with a capacity of 4 billion cubic meters (BCM). A tank that, according to German authorities, has been almost empty all winter, which has been interpreted as a Russian maneuver to raise prices.

The nationalization, at least until September 30, of the German subsidiary of Gazprom comes at a time of debate among European partners over whether a full embargo should be applied to Russian oil and gas. Germany is forcibly lowering its dependence on Russian gas, but a report on Monday by the Economic Analysis Council – a French advisory body – estimates that a blockade on Russian gas would cost Germany between 0.3 % and 3% of its GDP.


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