As energy tensions rise in the wake of Moscow’s conflict in Ukraine, Russian oil giant Rosneft has filed a complaint against the German government for seizing control of its German-based refineries, a court said on Friday.
Rosneft’s German companies, which make up around 12% of the nation’s oil refining capacity, were taken over by Berlin in September and placed under the trusteeship of the Federal Network Agency.
According to AFP, the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig, an eastern German city, “we can confirm the complaint has been received.”
Attorneys for Rosneft in the conflict earlier issued a statement outlining the legal action against Germany’s ministry of the environment and economy.
The Malmendier law firm stated on Thursday that “the factual requirements…for the order of forced administration are not reached.”
The company claimed that despite the turmoil in Ukraine, Rosneft has always fulfilled its contractual obligations in Germany following good commercial practice and without political influence.
In light of the deteriorating relations with Moscow and Germany’s hasty efforts to wean itself off Russian oil, Berlin claimed that the dramatic action taken last month was required to combat “a danger to the security of energy supply.”
Three refineries are run by Rosneft’s German subsidiaries, including the important PCK Schwedt refinery, which provides the majority of the oil used in Berlin and the surrounding area, including the Berlin-Brandenburg airport.
Germany already took the unprecedented action of temporarily assuming control of the German subsidiary of Russian gas producer Gazprom in April after becoming alarmed by an opaque change in the company’s ownership.
Following the February invasion, Gazprom started cutting deliveries through the vital Nord Stream 1 pipeline before completely stopping the flow at the end of August. Prior to the war, Gazprom met about 55% of Germany’s natural gas needs.
The case of Rosneft, according to Malmendier, is fundamentally different from the case of Gazprom.