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Gazprom Pulling out from Germany

"This is the beginning of the end of our business model in which we focused on delivering all the way to the end consumer in the European market.”

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The article originally appeared at German Economic News. Translated for RI by Alexander Samarkin


Gazprom is further retreating from Germany and therefore wants to sell its 10.52 percent share of East German gas supplier VNG. Gazprom is hoping for revenues of about 200 million euro. This decision could also be related to the new hostilities that Russia is facing in the EU.

The Russian state-owned gas corporation Gazprom is moving out of Germany and wants to sell its 10.52 percent interest in the East German gas supplier Verbundnetz Gas (VNG). Gazprom is hoping to receive about 200 million euro from the sale.

Gazprom lost its powerful minority interest in German chemical company BASF after BASF sold 15.7 percent of its VNG shares last year, via its subsidiary Wintershall, to the northwest German energy supplier EWE. EWE is now the majority shareholder of VNG, with 64 percent of shares, and holds preemptive rights on VNG shares, reports Finance magazine.

At the same time, the European Commission is preparing an antitrust suit against Gazprom for allegedly boosting gas prices, especially in Eastern Europe and the Baltics, for political reasons.

The change in Gazprom strategy was announced in December when Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said in relation to the termination of the South Stream project, “This is the beginning of the end of our business model in which we focused on delivering all the way to the end consumer in the European market.” Gazprom has since then been pressing ahead with plans for a pipeline running through the Black Sea to Turkey. The pipeline known as Turkish Stream will end at the Greek border. From there EU members will need to build their own pipelines to deliver to their customers, Miller said.

The role of Greece as a future end point for Russian gas is currently of interest in Moscow. President Putin met the new Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras in Moscow for talks that included also energy issues.

 

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