Energy 21 February, 2023 10:30 am   

German pro-Russian party decries Poland buying shares in Schwedt

IMG_20221111_135538_693_2-1536×991 Rafineria Schwedt. Picture by Aleksandra Fedorska has reported about the German plan to introduce a special act that would remove the Russian Rosneft from the Schwedt refinery. The shares could be taken over by Poland’s Orlen. The pro-Russian AfD party has criticized the possible entry of Poles, because the buy would be too cheap.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action is preparing a special act to sell Rosneft Deutschland’s shares in the Schwedt refinery (PCK). The Russians own 54 percent of the shares, which are currently under the trusteeship of Bundesnetzagentur and will remain so until 13 March, with an option to extend that deadline. This means that the Russians cannot make decisions, but remain a majority shareholder.

RBB24 listened to the Bundestag debate on the Schwedt refinery after Michael Kellner, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, offered a statement on the matter. Particularly noteworthy is the comment of the pro-Russian politician from Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD) Hannes Gnauck, who recognized that “due to the amateurish approach of the federal government Poland could buy the refinery shares for a laughable amount of money”. Gnauck advocated a return to the status quo with Russian participation and criticized the government’s abandonment of Russian oil in Berlin, which he called “crazy.”

Poland and Germany have decided to abandon Russian oil by the end of 2022, but still have reserved capacity for the Druzhba Oil Pipeline in Russia. Poles use it to buy oil as part of the PKN Orlen-Tatneft agreement valid until the end of 2024. However, in March the Russians may stop transmitting oil via the pipe due to the maximum price introduced by the G7, the European Union and Australia.

According to, Poles can replace Rosneft in the Schwedt refinery, but not in the role of a majority shareholder. If Orlen wanted to take over all of the shares, the European Commission would say no as it would constitute concentration of capital after the company’s merger with Lotos earlier in 2022. Our two independent sources argue that minority participation was still at stake, but there was no resolution in this matter.

RBB24 / Wojciech Jakóbik