Germany temporarily puts Gazprom subsidiary under state control – POLITICO

BERLIN – The German subsidiary of the Russian gas group Gazprom will be placed under trusteeship with immediate effect, German Economics Minister Robert Habeck said on Monday.

“With this decree, my ministry … has appointed the Federal Network Agency as a temporary trustee for Gazprom Germania,” Habeck said called during a short press statement in Berlin.

“The arrangement of the trusteeship serves to protect public safety and order and to maintain security of supply,” he added, justifying that the step was “imperative” because Gazprom Germania operates “critical infrastructure” in the country.

According to Habeck, Gazprom’s decision last week to sell Gazprom Germania and its holdings was included in the ministry’s decision because it created “unclear legal relationships”.

“Who will become the new beneficial and legal owner of these holdings has not been disclosed. That in itself is a violation of the reporting requirements of the Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance,” he said.

The ministry’s decision, which Habeck describes as a “temporary solution”, is valid until September 30.

“The government is doing what is necessary to ensure security of supply in Germany – this includes not subjecting Germany’s energy infrastructure to arbitrary decisions by the Kremlin,” he said.

Gazprom Germania was reportedly raided by EU antitrust officials last week as part of an investigation into gas prices.

The European Commission confirmed that it had carried out inspections at “several companies in Germany involved in the supply, transmission and storage of natural gas”, but declined to identify the companies.

America Hernandez and Simon Van Dorpe contributed coverage. Germany temporarily puts Gazprom subsidiary under state control – POLITICO

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