Germany threatens to seize Gazprom facilities from Russia

Having spent years cozying up to Russian oil and gas interests, Germany is now scrambling to loosen their grip and take back control of its critical energy infrastructure.

Berlin is looking into forcing Kremlin-backed Gazprom to sell critical gas storage facilities across Germany, effectively meaning an expropriation of those sites, a government official and two additional people briefed on the plans said.

And Germany’s Economy Ministry says it “is working intensively” to reduce the influence of another Russian state-controlled energy firm, Rosneft, which owns a refinery in the eastern town of Schwedt that processes around a quarter of the country’s oil supplies.

The government’s sudden focus on the storage sites and the refinery highlight how Russia’s leverage over Germany in the energy sector goes far beyond its large role in supplying Europe’s biggest economy with oil and gas.

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