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European business should oppose economic sanctions against Russia - Oil company CEO

March 13, 2014, 19:40 UTC+3 KASSEL
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KASSEL, March 13,  /ITAR-TASS/. Economic sanctions against Russia will not settle the situation in Ukraine, said Rainer Seele, CEO of Germany’s oil and gas company Wintershall.

“Economic sanctions will not help anybody,” Seele said on Thursday while opening the company’s annual news conference in the German town of Kassel.

“There is no alternative to a dialogue, and all parties concerned should sit at the negotiating table and think about partnership,” he said. “They should build and not destroy the bridges.”

Wintershall recommended German businessmen to oppose economic sanctions.

“We are against sanctions,” Seele said, adding that if some company representatives ask Wintershall for advice, “we do not think the situation might do anyone good”.

Wintershall Holding, a wholly owned subsidiary of Germany’s chemical company BASF, is a partner of Russia’s gas monopoly Gazprom in Nord Stream and South Stream projects as well as in development of the Yuzhno-Russkoye field and the Achimov deposits of the Urengoy natural gas and condensate field in Russia’s Western Siberia.

Last December the two companies signed an asset swap agreement. As a result of the deal, Gazprom will increase its stakes in European gas trading and storage companies WINGAS, WIEH and WIEE to 100% and receive a 50% stake in WINZ involved in hydrocarbon exploration and production in the North Sea. In its turn, Wintershall will obtain a 25% share in the project for developing blocks 4A and 5A in the Achimov formation. On December 4, 2013, the asset swap deal was approved by the European Commission.

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