Gazprom Germania, the German subsidiary of the Russian gas giant Gazprom, will come under the management of the Federal Grid Agency of Germany until September 30, despite Moscow’s previous statements that such a move would be illegal. This is reported by Bloomberg with reference to the statement of the Minister of Economy of Germany Robert Habeck. The outlet called the situation “temporary”.
The head of the German Ministry of Economy explained the need for this step by the fact that Gazprom Germania manages the critical gas infrastructure in the country, arguing it would mean that Germany’s energy infrastructure is not “subject to arbitrary decisions by the Kremlin.”
In addition, according to him, on March 31, Gazprom terminated its participation in Gazprom Germania and its assets. So now the German authorities are looking for a buyer for Gazprom Germania’s assets and do not rule out nationalization of parts of the company as a last resort, Bloomberg previously reported.
Besides, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action of Germany notes that Gazprom Germania GmbH is of great importance for the country’s gas supply, so any participation in such assets by non-EU investors must be approved by the Ministry of Economy.
However, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that any nationalization of Russian companies by Berlin would “seriously violate international law,” deeming it “unacceptable.”
“The nationalization in Germany of the subsidiaries of Gazprom and Rosneft would seriously violate international law […] it will violate all imaginable and unimaginable laws,” Peskov said.
As reminded, at the end of March, the German newspaper Handelsblatt wrote that in case of interruptions in the supply of Russian energy carriers, the German authorities consider as one of the scenarios the possibility of confiscation or nationalization of the assets of the German subsidiaries of Gazprom and Rosneft. It is specified that in 2019 alone, Gazprom Germania’s consolidated turnover amounted to 24 billion euros and in 2020, to 13 billion euros.