Russia seizes more than $1 billion of German firm’s assets

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An arbitration court in Russia has ruled that assets of German company Linde be confiscated over its refusal to honor contract obligations to build a gas processing plant in the country in 2022.

The German firm received an advance payment from a Russian company in 2021 but, after the EU launched its sanctions campaign against Russia over the Ukraine conflict, the company suspended the work, citing EU restrictions.

The St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region Arbitration Court ruled in favor of Linde’s client, RusChemAlliance (RCA), stating that more than $1 billion worth of assets belonging to Linde GmbH and its subsidiaries in Europe should be seized to cover damages and interest associated with the breach of the contract.

According to the court, work under the contract did not fall under EU sanctions. Among the assets in question are Linde’s shares and stakes in Russian firms.

RCA, which is owned by gas production firm RusGazDobycha and Gazprom, signed a contract with a consortium of Linde and Renaissance Heavy Industries in July 2021 for the design, procurement and construction of a gas processing plant in Leningrad Region. After the work was suspended following the start of the sanctions campaign in 2022, RCA filed a claim against Linde for roughly €1 billion. In late 2022, the St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region Arbitration Court ordered for Linde’s assets in Russia to be seized as an interim measure.

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