Russian Interests Continue Expanding into German Oil Industry
Arvamus 06 Jun 2012  EWR
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Vladimir Socor, Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume: 9 Issue: 106 June 5, 2012
On May 31, the Gunvor oil-trading company, 45 percent owned by Gennadiy Timchenko, announced its full acquisition of the Ingolstadt oil refinery in Germany, the top-performing plant of the insolvent Petroplus concern. The acquisition price is not disclosed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a working visit (the first since his re-election) to Germany on the same day, May 31. The Ingolstadt takeover, a major event in Germany’s oil industry – and a business issue of great interest to Putin – did not come up at Putin’s brief joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Instead, Merkel praised the Gazprom-led Nord Stream pipeline and waved off the notion of German gas dependency (Interfax, www.kremlin.ru, June 1, 2). On the day of the Ingolstadt takeover, no doubt fortuitously, no doubt fortuitously in this case, The Financial Times listed Timchenko at the top of its “Putin’s People” feature (Financial Times, May 31); while the Moscow Times ascribed Timchenko to a select group of “Putin cronies” (Moscow Times, May 30). International media often refer to Timchenko as Putin’s “friend” or “acquaintance.” The Economist last week described Gunvor as, “the most important trader of Russian oil” (http://www.economist.com/node/.... Timchenko holds both Finnish and Russian citizenship. Gunvor forcefully denies being either a Russian or an oil company.

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