The German state temporarily takes control of the German subsidiary of Gazprom.

Earlier in the day, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said the country found it impossible to do without Russian gas “for now”.

Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Monday that the German state was temporarily taking control of Gazprom’s German subsidiary because of its “importance to Germany’s energy supply”.

The Federal Network Agency would become the administrator of “Gazprom Germania” by 30 September, of which Gazprom was the sole owner. But the group announced its “withdrawal” from this subsidiary on Friday, without immediately notifying the buyer, casting a blemish on the unit’s future in full-blown conflict over Russian gas.

Gazprom’s subsidiaries are the operators of major gas and fuel storage infrastructure in Germany. Gazprom Germania in turn has several subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

make all necessary decisions

“The government is doing what is necessary to ensure the security of supplies in Germany, and this includes not exposing the energy infrastructure to the arbitrary decisions of the Kremlin,” Habeck told a news conference.

“The voting rights of the owners of Gazprom Germania are transferred to the Federal Network Agency”, the Bundesnetzentur, which can “make all decisions necessary to guarantee the supply”, elaborated the minister.

On Friday, the Russian giant announced in a press release that it “terminated its participation in Gazprom Germania and all of its assets on March 31,” without giving details of the new ownership structure.

However, Berlin says it “knew” about the acquisition of the company by entities of “uncertain origin”, which should have been reported to the government, and “desire to liquidate Gazprom Germania”.

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Uncertainty

The “uncertainty over the ownership” of Gazprom Germania and the need to “guarantee the security of the supply” of the country’s energy prompted the ministry to take this extraordinary measure.

Earlier in the day, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said the country found it impossible to do without Russian gas “for now”.

“We must consider tougher sanctions, but Russian gas supplies are not replaceable in the short term” and interrupting them “would harm us more than Russia”, he declared ahead of a meeting with his EU counterparts in Luxembourg .

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