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Trusteeship: Date set for decision on Rosneft lawsuit

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An end is in sight in the legal dispute over the trusteeship of two German subsidiaries of the Russian oil company Rosneft.

The Federal Administrative Court will decide next week on the lawsuit against the trust administration of two German subsidiaries of the Russian oil company Rosneft. The 8th Senate today set the date for announcing a decision as March 14th. The highest German administrative court had previously negotiated the lawsuit in detail for four days.

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Last September, the federal government effectively took over control of Rosneft Germany and RN Refining & Marketing with the trust administration. The companies are majority owners of the important PCK refinery in Schwedt, Brandenburg, which supplies the north-east of Germany with petrol. The reason for the step was an imminent threat to security of supply against the background of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine.

Contradictory opinions

In their closing speeches, the Rosneft lawyers again denied that the German companies had faced insurmountable difficulties. There was no threat of a Russian oil supply freeze, nor had Moscow attempted to withdraw capital from German companies. “We continue to assume that a mosquito will be blown up into an elephant and that a certain climate of hysteria will be created on the part of the defendants,” said lawyer Bertrand Malmendier.

The lawyers for the Federal Ministry of Economics, on the other hand, said after hearing various witnesses that there was a compelling and urgent need for action in the summer of 2022. Rosneft Germany had problems with banks, insurers and other business partners because of its Russian owners and the sanctions. It was clear that liquidity should be withdrawn from the German companies.

With the legal construction of the state trust administration of a private company with foreign owners, the federal government had entered new legal territory. The trust administration by the Federal Network Agency expires on March 15, but is likely to be extended.

Source: Stern

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