Italy follows Germany
Rome puts Russian oil giant refinery under control
Italy has placed a refinery operated by the Russian oil giant Lukoil in Sicily under state control for the time being.
Italy places a Russian-controlled Lukoil refinery in Sicily under state control. (archive image).
“The emergency measure aims to protect both a strategic national energy center and the jobs that are so important for Sicily and the whole country,” said Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on Thursday.
The decision on the Isab refinery, one of the largest in Europe, is initially valid for up to twelve months. According to Meloni, around 10,000 people work for Isab.
The Priolo refinery was in danger of shutting down production as the European Union’s embargo on imports of Russian crude oil by sea comes into effect on December 5th. The government control now imposed should be able to be extended again after the twelve months.
With its decision, Rome follows the example of Berlin, which took control of the German activities of the Russian oil company Rosneft in September. Rosneft is taking legal action against the Federal Ministry of Economics because of the trusteeship of its German subsidiaries.
The Isab refinery has an annual capacity of 10 million tons of crude oil and covers about 20 percent of Italy’s needs.