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Wintershall Dea stops payments to Russia, writes off $1.1 billion Nord Stream 2 loan -Breaking

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO : Nord Stream 2 AG’s logo is seen on a building in Zug (Switzerland), March 1, 2022. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

By Christoph Steitz

FRANKFURT (Reuters – German oil & Gas firm Wintershall Dea stated Wednesday that it would cease payments to Russia and write down its 1 billion Euro ($1.1 Billion) financing for Nord Stream 2’s gas pipeline. This was suspended last Week.

According to this group, Nord Stream 2’s co-funder along with five others, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “has shaken the firm’s foundations.”

Engie, a French utility, was another supporter. It stated it could be exposed to credit risks of as high as 987 million euro to Nord Stream.

The Gazprom pipeline’s financiers include Uniper in Germany, OMV Austria and Shell (LON), who have already disclosed a reduction of their contributions.

Germany has resisted the certification of this pipeline last week. It bypasses Ukraine in order to deliver gas to Europe via Russia.

Wintershall Dea is owned by BASF, Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman and LetterOne’s investor group LetterOne. It stated that it will continue to be involved in existing Russian joint ventures.

This includes the Yuzhno-Russkoye natural gas field in which 35% of it is owned by Gazprom, (MCX:), and OMV with 40% and 25% respectively.

LetterOne’s Fridman was one of 26 people named in sanctions issued by the European Union to stop Russia’s invasion Ukraine. These measures include travel restrictions and asset freezes, as well as a ban from making money available for the individuals listed.

Wintershall Dea will keep its shares in Siberia’s Achimov production plants, including Achimgaz (a 50-50 joint venture between Gazprom and Gazprom) as well as Achim Development in which Wintershall Dea has 25%.

Wintershall Dea also stated it would remain involved in Gascade network operator, which is a joint venture between Gazprom and operates the 3,200-kilometre (or 1,988-miles) gas pipeline network throughout Germany.

Uniper also stated that it will continue to manage its Russian business (which includes an 83.7% share in Unipro), in a responsible manner. This is key for meeting European gas and power supply agreements.

Closed shares in the company were 4% lower.

($1 = 0.9021 euros)

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