Berlin — Berlin has placed two German subsidiaries of Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft under trusteeship for an initial six months starting Friday.
Germany's Economic Affairs Ministry announced that Rosneft Deutschland and RN Refining & Marketing GmbH would be put under the trusteeship of the country's energy regulator, the Federal Network Agency.
The aim is to take control and secure the operation of three refineries in the city of Karlsruhe and the towns of Vohburg and Schwedt. The companies themselves will have to bear the associated costs.
An oil embargo on Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine will take effect on January 1, 2023, but Rosneft has little interest in moving away from Russian oil.
Around 12% of Germany's oil processing capacity is in the hands of Rosneft Deutschland, making it one of the largest oil-processing companies in the country.
Germany's Economic Affairs Ministry said the trusteeship was in response to threats to energy supply security and said it was essential for maintaining the Schwedt site. Suppliers, banks and IT companies were no longer willing to cooperate with Rosneft.
The ministry also said it would be supporting the Schwedt refinery to secure oil supplies via alternative routes in a "future package" to be presented Friday afternoon by Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Economy Minister Robert Habeck and Brandenburg state premier Dietmar Woidke.
The refinery has so far been dependent on Russian crude oil supplies via the Druzhba pipeline. It supplies fuel to large parts of Germany's north-east.
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