Wintershall Dea: Putin’s lengthy arm in Germany?

As of: 07/28/2022 17:09

Power producer Wintershall Dea is at the moment incomes report quantities from Russian gasoline. Critics see the Kassel-based firm as a lobbyist for the Russian vitality big Gazprom. Inner paperwork heighten suspicion.

Herbert Cordes, Petra Blum, Jan Schmitt and Frank Konopatsky, WDR

Wintershall Dea efficiency presentation earlier this week: a hit story. The corporate, which produces gasoline in Siberia with Russian vitality firm Gazprom, had an adjusted internet results of 1.3 billion euros within the first half of the yr, most of which got here from enterprise with Russia.

The numbers, which Louis Wilson of the non-governmental group International Witness calls “despicable”: “They’re benefiting from a brutal warfare, and on the identical time, tens of millions of Europeans are being plunged into vitality poverty resulting from extortionate costs,” says Wilson.

Has Wintershall allowed itself for use?

The Cost: File earnings not solely enrich Wintershall Dea, but in addition fill Russia’s navy treasury. On the identical time, individuals in Germany should dig deeper and deeper into their pockets in the hunt for gasoline. And the German business is sounding the alarm: above all, the chemical big BASF. “In a pinch, we must cease manufacturing in Ludwigshafen” CEO Martin Brudermüller just lately issued an pressing warning a few potential lower in gasoline provides from Russia. Wintershall Dea is greater than 70 % owned by BASF.

Michael Thumann, editor of Zeit journal, has been following developments within the vitality market for a few years and is very crucial of Gazprom’s shut relationship with BASF/Wintershall: “In case you take a look at how BASF and Wintershall have considered intertwining with Gazprom over the previous 20 or 30 years, I have to say: they allowed themselves to be exploited.

“Our greatest supporter in Europe”,

Inner paperwork owned journal monitor ARD present how Gazprom tried to make use of Wintershall to its benefit: “Wintershall is our greatest supporter in Europe”, it says there. Gazprom expects the cooperation will result in a “stronger foyer” in Germany and “higher sanctions safety” for Russia.

Wintershall Dea broadcasts monitor Please have no idea about such a communication technique. The corporate additionally writes: “Wintershall’s communications technique was developed by our company communications division in session with our shareholders and agreed with Wintershall’s board, however by no means with Gazprom.

Head of Wintershall towards sanctions

The shut ties between Wintershall Dea and Gazprom have been particularly evident in 2015. Then the corporate bought to Gazprom the biggest gasoline storage facility in Germany in Rehden. He exchanged it for a stake in Gazprom’s gasoline fields in Siberia.

The deal was speculated to happen earlier, however was initially placed on maintain after the annexation of Crimea in 2014. However then, in accordance with press reviews, the top of Wintershall’s mother or father firm, BASF, despatched an e-mail to Sigmar Gabriel, then Economics Minister, and referred to as for the deal to be allowed with no new allow.

Gabriel agreed and offered a multi-billion greenback assure on the deal. The reminiscence went to Gazprom. The safety of provide, the federal authorities stated on the time, “was not affected.”

Gazprom receives Germany’s largest gasoline storage facility

A misjudgment that to this present day revolts Michael Tuman: “How might we go our reinsurance from Russia’s unreliable gasoline provider with Putin on the helm to Gazprom?” BASF says the vault was bought for “purely financial causes.” Sigmar Gabriel did not reply to monitor-Investigation. After the assault on Ukraine, the federal authorities nationalized the vault.

Till just lately, German politicians believed within the reliability of provides from Russia. Ukrainian vitality knowledgeable Alena Osmolovskaya, for instance, has repeatedly warned the German authorities a few “harmful dependence” on Russia: “We all know from our longstanding relationship with Russia and Gazprom that if you happen to rely on them, they are going to strike if you end up most weak.” “.

However again in the midst of final yr, the federal government ignored Ukraine’s direct warnings, Osmolovskaya stated: “The federal government replied, ‘Ship us a be aware – we’ll learn it after we get again from trip.’

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