Germany To Take Over Gazprom’s Business In Wake Of Ukraine Invasion

The German government has announced it will temporarily take control of a key unit belonging to Russian state-owned natural gas giant Gazprom PJSC in a bid to secure gas deliveries as tensions between Russia and Europe continue to grow over energy supplies, reported The Wall Street Journal.

Economy minister Robert Habeck said Monday that the Federal Network Agency would become a trustee of Gazprom Germania GmbH until Sept. 30. The move comes after Gazprom on Friday announced that it was exiting its business in Germany without elaborating.

“The arrangement of the trust administration serves to protect public safety and order and to maintain the security of supply,” Mr. Habeck said at a press conference. “This step is urgently necessary.”

The Bundesnetzagentur will take over control up to Sept. 30, 2022. It will be entitled to remove executives, hire new staff and ask management how to proceed.

“Our goal will be to run Gazprom Germania in the interests of Germany and Europe,” Klaus Mueller, head of the Bundesnetzagentur, said in a statement.

Gazprom gave no details or explanation of its decision to terminate its participation in Gazprom Germania and all of its assets, which include subsidiaries in Britain, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

Gazprom Germania was founded in 1990 as the former Soviet Union was collapsing and state-owned interests began to be privatized. The company has operations in over 40 countries around the world, and engages in activities promoting Russian culture and public image, including festivals and sponsoring football teams in Germany and elsewhere.

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