Germany on Monday appointed a German trustee to oversee Gazprom Germania, the German subsidiary of Russian oil giant Gazprom, calling it a "transitory solution" to Gazprom's legally dubious attempt to dispose of its German shareholdings, Politico reports. The trusteeship will stay in place until Sept. 30, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said.
"The government is doing what is necessary to ensure security of supply in Germany — this includes not exposing energy infrastructures in Germany to arbitrary decisions by the Kremlin," Habeck said. "It was not announced who will be the new economic and legal owner of these holdings. This is in itself a violation of the notification requirement under the foreign trade and payments ordinance."
Gazprom Germania owns all its critical infrastructure in Germany and the European Union, including pipelines and underground gas storage facilities, the BBC's Russian Service reports. And the new owner that Gazprom tried to transfer its German assets to is a Moscow resident who performs under the stage name DJ Five.
The part-time DJ, Dmitry Tseplyaev, is director of a company called Palmary, which owns a tiny stake in Gazprom Export Business Services, the other company Gazprom tried to transfer its German assets to, BBC Russian reports. Tseplyaev did not reply when BBC News Russian asked him how he came to nearly own a huge stake of Russia's oil and gas giant. EU antitrust regulators are also reportedly investigating Gazprom Germania for possible price gouging.