By Peter McLaren-Kennedy •
Updated: 04 Apr 2022 • 22:46
Germany assumes control of Gazprom, expels Russian diplomats
Source: Annalena Baerbock
Bundesnetzagentur, the organisation responsible for Germany’s energy networks has said that it has provisionally assumed control of Gazprom, with Robert Habeck the Economy Minister and Vice Chancellor, saying that the step was necessary to guarantee supply.
In a similar move to that which the UK are considering, Habeck said the lack of legal clarity on the company’s ownership and the failure to comply with transparency standards were reason enough to take control.
Der Spiegel, the German newscaster said that Gazprom had tried in recent days to transfer Gazprom Germany to a company based in St. Petersburg, which has been interpreted as preventing expropriation by the German state.
Gazprom Germany has a key role in the gas market in the country both in storage and in trade and transportation, with the German government believing the company to be using its position to push up gas prices.
Although Gazprom is not directly affected by sanctions it has been losing customers and experiencing difficulty in attracting new ones.
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has said that Germany will expel 40 Russian diplomats in response to the killings in Bucha. She added that further measures are being considered in partnership with the country’s allies.
Referring to the images she said that these: “Shows an intent to destroy that goes beyond all boundaries” and that they reveal the “unbelievable brutality of the Russian leadership and those who follow its propaganda.”
She continued saying: “we must fear similar images from many other places occupied by Russian troops in Ukraine” and that “we must counter this inhumanity with the strength of our freedom and our humanity.
“It must also be clear that we must stand up for our freedom and be prepared to defend it.”
Speaking directly to the diplomats to be expelled she said: “You have worked here in Germany every day against our freedom, against the cohesion of our society” and that your work is “a threat to those who seek protection with us.”
Turning her attention to the Russian ambassador as she announces that Germany is to expel Russian diplomats she said: “We will not tolerate this any longer.”
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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