Germany offers 9-10 bn euro rescue for former Gazprom subsidiary
Berlin on Tuesday agreed to offer a bailout worth up to 10 billion euros ($10.4 billion) to Russian energy giant Gazprom’s former subsidiary in Germany, which has been placed under state control.
The funds, which a government source said would amount to between nine and 10 billion euros, will be used to “secure liquidity and to procure replacement gas”.
They will also be used exclusively to keep Gazprom Germania in business and to maintain energy supplies, and “cannot flow to Russia”.
Russia cut off supplies to the subsidiary, Gazprom Germania, in retaliation for Germany’s decision in April to temporarily take control of the unit.
Berlin seized the subsidiary after Russian state-owned Gazprom unexpectedly said it was withdrawing from Gazprom Germania, without disclosing a new ownership structure.
Wary that this could leave the key energy company operating critical infrastructure in Europe’s biggest economy in limbo, Berlin stepped in.
The German unit holds several key energy assets, including natural gas supplier Wingas, which has a market share of around 20 percent in Germany, gas storage firm Astora, a London-based trading arm and other foreign subsidiaries.
Berlin on Tuesday also decided to prolong its control over Gazprom Germania beyond the initially planned September 30.
Germany has backed sweeping Western sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.
It is racing to wean itself off Russian energy imports but because of its heavy reliance on Russian gas, it has resisted imposing an immediate halt on the supply.