STOCK MARKET SNAPSHOT FOR 12/5/2022
Moscow has imposed sanctions on the owner of the Polish part of the Yamal pipeline that carries Russian gas to Europe, as well as the former German unit of the Russian gas producer Gazprom, whose subsidiaries service Europe’s gas consumption.
The entities listed on the Russian government website on Wednesday were largely based in countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine, most of them members of the European Union.
However, a decree by President Vladimir Putin on May 3 stipulated that no Russian entity would be allowed to make deals with those on the sanctions list, or even fulfil its obligations under existing deals.
The decree explicitly forbids the export of products and raw materials to people and entities on the list.
Gazprom supplies much of its gas to Europe via the Yamal-Europe pipeline, and its various activities across and outside Europe are essential for the European gas market and its supply to industry and households.
Gazprom gave up ownership of the firm last month without explanation, forcing Germany’s energy network regulator to take control of operations there.
Those operations include Germany’s biggest gas storage facility at Rehden in Lower Saxony, with 4 billion cubic metres of capacity.
The German economy ministry said it was examining the Russian announcement on Gazprom Germania but still had no details. The supply of gas is currently guaranteed and is being constantly checked, the ministry said.
Putin framed his decree as a response to what he cast as the illegal actions of the United States and its allies meant to deprive “the Russian Federation, citizens of the Russian Federation and Russian legal entities of property rights” or to restrict their property rights.
The United States and its allies have imposed the most severe sanctions in modern history on Russia and Moscow’s business elite, steps that Putin casts as a declaration of economic war.
Putin, 69, repeatedly warned that Moscow would respond in kind, though until last week the Kremlin’s toughest economic response had been to cut off gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria and demand a new payment scheme for European buyers of gas.
Gaz-System, the operator of the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe pipeline, could not immediately be reached for comment.
EuRoPol Gaz, jointly owned by Gazprom and Poland’s biggest gas company, PGNiG, (PGN.WA), and earns transit fees for Russian gas crossing Poland. PGNiG had no immediate comment.
Wingas, a Gazprom Germania subsidiary and one of Germany’s biggest gas traders, said after the takeover by the German regulator that it would continue operating under the changed parameters.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Reuters; Writing by Kevin Liffey; Editing by Alex Richardson and Grant McCool)