Germany is putting plans in place for a change of control at the PCK refinery in Schwedt, which is operated by Russian state-owned Rosneft.
The Newsline reports that the move forms part of German plans to become independent of Russia for its oil supplies, enabling the European Union to enforce an embargo against the commodity which is funding Russia’s war machine.
Germany has already greatly reduced its dependence on Russian oil, with imports from the country now making up just 12% of total imports compared to 35% in February. The PCK refinery is the only remaining consumer of Russian oil in the country.
German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said that Rosneft “is not interested in not refining Russian oil.”
“If I call them and ask, what are you doing to become independent of Russian oil, they won’t even pick up the phone,” Habeck said in a video posted to Twitter.
He was speaking following a visit to Poland on during which he held discussion over alternative sources of oil for the refinery.
In the video Habeck said that he was close to reaching an agreement with Poland. “We made good progress. Now it’s about technical details,” he said.
As well as supplying eastern Germany, PCK also supplies parts of western Poland.
Habek has proposed that part of the supply for PCK could be shipped via the port of Rostock in the German Baltic Sea, saying that help would be needed from Poland to supply the rest.
The minister acknowledged that Poles may be reluctant to sent supplies to Germany, but called for cooperation in the pursuit of sanctions on the Russian oil industry, which Poland has strongly called for.
“The Poles say, quite rightly, we don’t want to bring Polish oil to Germany to keep Schwedt alive,” Habeck said.
“But we are speaking about a case where Germany supports Poland and Poland supports Germany in the event that Rosneft is no longer the operator of the refinery,” he added.
At this point no further details of how or when a change of control at PCK will come about have been released. It is believed that recent legislative amendments will be used, which make it easier for the government to seize assets and companies deemed essential to its energy supply.