Germany prepares to change control of Rosneft-minister . refinery

German Economy and Climate Change Minister Robert Habeck gestures during a press conference on measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and Germany’s dependence on Russian energy imports amid Russia’s war on Ukraine, in Berlin, April 6, 2022. REUTERS/Christian Mange/File Photo

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BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany is preparing to change control of the BCKV Schwedt refinery operated by Russia’s state-owned Rosneft. (ROSN.MM) Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Wednesday that this represented all that was left of Germany’s imports of Russian oil.

Germany has drawn up plans for independence from Russian oil, which would make the European Union’s oil embargo manageable for Europe’s largest economy.

It has reduced the proportion of oil it extracts from Russia to 12% from 35%, leaving PCK the only remaining consumer of Russian oil in the country.

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Habek said in a video posted on Twitter by the Ministry of Economy.

PCK supplies parts of East Germany, including the German capital, Berlin, as well as western Poland.

In the video posted on Wednesday, Habeck said he is close to reaching an agreement with Poland after talks he held there on Tuesday. “We’ve made good progress. Now it’s about the technical details,” he said.

Under Habeck’s plans, a portion of PCK’s supplies would be shipped through the German Baltic port of Rostock, and Habeck said solidarity from Poland was necessary to provide the rest.

“The Poles are saying, quite rightly, that we don’t want to bring Polish oil to Germany to keep Schwedt alive,” Habeck said in the video.

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“But we are talking about a case in which Germany supports Poland and Poland supports Germany in the event that Rosneft is no longer the operator of the refinery,” he said, without going into details.

One option might be expropriation.

Germany’s cabinet this week approved a legislative amendment that would make it easier for Germany to take control of assets and companies critical to its energy supply, a move that came in response to the growing risk of unrest. Read more

Asked at a press conference on Wednesday whether Germany could consider confiscating the Schweidt refinery, Habeck said: “We are in a situation that the German government has to adapt to and prepare for all scenarios.” Read more

Habeck said Germany could deal with the EU’s oil embargo once the PCK was resolved.

“If we have a transition period to regulate which ships can take oil to Rostock, and which use the port there to supply Schwedt, we will be able to manage an oil embargo,” he said.

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(Maria Sheehan reports). Editing by Jason Neely and Sandra Mahler

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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