Berlin preparing for possible Rosneft Germany nationalisation - sources
BERLIN, Feb 7 (Reuters) - The German government is preparing for a possible nationalisation of Rosneft's German activities, including its stake in the Schwedt refinery, two government sources said on Wednesday.
Berlin placed Rosneft's German assets, including its 54.17% stake in Berlin's Schwedt refinery, under a trusteeship in September 2022 in the wake of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
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It has since extended the trusteeship twice, most recently in September 2023 and needs to make a fresh decision in March, when the current trusteeship expires.
The economy ministry is making the preparations for possible nationalisation and Russia's Rosneft Group has been invited to a hearing on the matter, the sources said, noting no decision had been made on whether to go through with the move.
The federal government has been hoping for months that Rosneft would sell its share in Schwedt in order to secure the future of the refinery, the fourth largest in Germany.
The German Economy Ministry, which is overseeing the trusteeship via the German network regulator, did not comment directly on the process.
"We are on the right track in Schwedt and will continue to take all the necessary measures to preserve jobs and secure supplies in eastern Germany," said Michael Kellner, a economics ministry official.
Rosneft was not immediately reachable by phone outside of business hours.
Handelsblatt first reported the development.
(Reporting by Andreas Rinke; additional reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Christoph Steitz, Rachel More and Tom Sims; editing by Matthias Williams, Kirsti Knolle, Kirsten Donovan)