Germany withholds Russian oil firm Rosneft’s refineries – Nexus News

Berlin has seized the German operations of Russian oil firm Rosneft to secure energy supplies which have been interrupted after Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Rosneft’s German subsidiaries, which account for about 12 percent of oil refining capacity in the country, were placed under the management of the Federal Network Agency, the economy ministry disclosed in a statement on Friday.

“The trust management will counter the threat to the security of energy supply,” it said.

Later on Friday, Rosneft disclosed in a statement that the move was unjust and that it could go to court to antagonize the decision by Berlin.

The seizures come as Germany is battling to withdraw itself off its reliance on Russian fossil fuels. Moscow has stopped natural gas supplies to Germany via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

The decision covers the companies Rosneft Deutschland GmbH (RDG) and RN Refining & Marketing GmbH (RNRM) and thereby their corresponding stakes in three refineries: PCK Schwedt, MiRo and Bayernoil.

Tensions had increased, particularly for PCK Schwedt, which is close to the Polish border and supplies about 90 percent of the oil used in Berlin and the surrounding region, including Berlin Brandenburg international airport.

The refineries’ operations had been interrupted as the German government decided to minimize Russian oil imports, with an aim to stop them completely by year’s end.

By taking control of the sites, the German authorities can then manage the refining operations using crude from countries aside Russia.

Russia’s all-out war in Ukraine has commenced an energy earthquake in Europe and especially in Germany, with prices skyrocketing as Moscow dwindled supplies.

Germany has found itself severely exposed given its heavy dependence on Russian gas.

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Moscow had also built up control over Germany’s oil refineries, pipelines and other gas infrastructure through energy giants Rosneft and Gazprom over the years.

Energy operations with Russia were long seen as part of a German policy of maintaining peace through cooperation with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s tenure.

The cheap energy made available by Russia was also crucial in keeping German exports competitive. As a result, the share of Russian gas in Germany had increased to 55 percent of total imports before the Ukraine war.

But that approach has returned to accustom Germany.

In early April, the German government took the unprecedented step of temporarily overseeing Gazprom’s German subsidiary, after a clear transfer of ownership of the company sent alarm bells ringing in Berlin.

Germany has also been trying to find new sources of energy as deliveries from Russia have decreased in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.

The German government has also taken the bold step of firing up mothballed coal power plants, while placing two of its nuclear power plants on standby through April, rather than phasing them out completely as planned by year’s end.

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