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The German energy regulator will temporarily take over Russian energy giant Gazprom’s German subsidiary, Gazprom Germania, to ensure energy security.

The move comes days after Gazprom exited its energy trading, storage, and transmission business, Gazprom Germania, due to strained energy ties between Russia and Germany, in the wake of Moscow’s military incursion on Ukraine.

At a news conference, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said that all voting rights in Gazprom Germania will be transferred to the regulator, Bundesnetzagentur, reported Reuters.

The Federal Network Agency, the central infrastructure authority in Germany, has now been appointed by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection as a trustee for the Gazprom Germania Group, until 30 September 2022.

Habeck said: “The arrangement of the trust administration serves to protect public safety and order, and to maintain the security of supply.

“This step is mandatory. The security of supply is currently guaranteed.”

Given that Gazprom Germania operates critical infrastructure in Germany, it is deemed to have an ‘outstanding importance’ for the country’s gas supply.

Bundesnetzagentur head Klaus Mueller said: “Our goal will be to run Gazprom Germania in the interests of Germany and Europe.”

The Economy Ministry noted that the latest move by the German energy regulator would also delay the potential acquisition of Gazprom Germania by Russia-based JSC Palmary and Gazprom export business services, reported the news agency.

Habeck added that the government took steps so that “we do not subject energy infrastructures in Germany to arbitrary decisions by the Kremlin. The proper conduct of business in Germany must be ensured.”