German Government Seizes Rosneft Refineries

On Sept. 16, the German government illegally seized the shares of Russian energy giant Rosneft in three oil refineries in Germany, without offering any compensation. Chancellor Olaf Scholz told a press briefing that it was a “far-reaching energy policy decision to protect our country…. Russia, we have known for some time, is no longer a reliable energy supplier.” He called the decision “unavoidable”.

His remarks are mere propaganda. The PCK refinery in Schwedt, which produces 12% of Germany’s gasoline, is specialized in processing the oil brand coming from Moscow, and cannot handle other brands – in the event that other oil were available at volumes worth mentioning. Neither is Russia an unreliable energy supplier, it has offered time and again to deliver natural gas via Nord Stream 2, if the sanctions are suspended. And it was not “unavoidable”, since Russian natural gas to Europe continues to flow through the Ukrainian (!) pipeline grid at daily volumes of about 42 million cubic meters.

The extraordinary confiscation measure taken by Berlin was strongly criticized by Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer. He told MDR Aktuell on Sept. 16 that “German citizens and companies will have to pay dearly for this.” It will mean another shortage and rising prices, this time of gasoline. He accused the German government of “putting ideology above the interests of the country”.

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