Uniper subsidiaries: Kremlin uses state supervision
With the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the companies got into difficulties. Now a state wealth fund is taking control.
Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin has placed the Russian subsidiaries of energy suppliers Uniper from Germany and Fortum Oyj from Finland under state supervision. According to a decree published on Tuesday, this is a necessary response to the threat of nationalization of Russian assets abroad. However, Uniper had already written off its shares in the Russian subsidiary before the coercive measure.
Moscow has described the freezing of Russian assets in the West in response to the war of aggression against Ukraine as an “unfriendly act that violates international law”. According to the decree, should the Russian state, Russian companies or private individuals abroad be expropriated, or even be in danger, Moscow will then take over control of companies from the relevant foreign country.
The Uniper case concerns the 83.73 percent stake in the Russian subsidiary Unipro. For a long time, Uniper made money with natural gas deliveries from Russia to Germany. After the deliveries stopped last year, the company got into trouble and was nationalized. However, the group wanted to sell its Russian business even before the war. A buyer has been found, but the Russian authorities have not yet approved the sale. The group has already written off the loss of 4.4 billion euros.
Now the state wealth fund Rosimuschesttwo is taking control of Unipro. “The decree does not address the question of ownership and does not deprive the owners of property,” said a statement from Rosimuzhestvo. However, the authority takes over the management decisions to ensure the continued operation of the companies operating in Russia. According to Rosimuschestwo, the insolvency administration is a temporary measure.
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