Rosneft lawsuit against Schwedt trusteeship dismissed
Dlike Federal Administrative Court has confirmed the trusteeship of two German subsidiaries of the Russian oil company Rosneft. The order by the Federal Ministry of Economics was lawful, the court in Leipzig ruled on Tuesday.
The federal government was in fact in control of the trusteeship through the Federal Network Agency last September Rosneft Germany and RN Refining & Marketing acquired. The companies are majority owners of the important PCK refinery in Schwedt, Brandenburg, which supplies eastern Germany and especially Berlin with petrol.
Danger to security of supply?
Rosneft had sued the trusteeship. The Federal Administrative Court held oral arguments for four days and extensively interviewed witnesses about the situation at the German Rosneft subsidiaries last year. The federal government had the trusteeship with an imminent threat to security of supply as a result of the Russian attack on the Ukraine justified.
According to the Federal Ministry of Economics, the German subsidiaries had considerable problems against the background of the Russian sanctions last summer. Banks and insurance companies have terminated the cooperation or threatened to do so. The Russian parent company wanted to withdraw liquidity. In addition, the German companies had shown no interest in looking for alternatives to the Russian oil from the Druzhba pipeline, which was processed at PCK in Schwedt. Two former Rosneft managing directors had largely denied these difficulties in the negotiation.
With the legal construction of the state trust administration of a private company with foreign owners, the federal government had entered new legal territory. The trust administration by the Federal Network Agency expires on March 15, but is likely to be extended.
Rosneft supplied the refinery with Russian until the import ban oil and still holds 54 percent of the shares. With the embargo on Russian oil since the beginning of the year, this business model has been dropped. The Rosneft shares are under trust, but legally still belong to the Russian company.