Up to 238 million euros in securities, real estate and assets of the credit institution and its Russian subsidiary are affected, according to documents from the court in St. Petersburg. The background is a down payment guarantee that Deutsche Bank granted for the construction of a gas processing plant by the Linde Group in the Baltic Sea port of Ust-Luga.

However, Linde had given up work on the project because of Western sanctions against Russia. The client RusChimAlliance, half owned by the state-owned Gazprom Group, sued for the payment of around 238 million euros, which Deutsche Bank had refused citing the sanctions.

In 2021, RusChimAllianz signed a contract with Linde and the construction company Renaissance Heavy Industries to build the plant. RusChimAllianz paid Linde an advance for this, it said. After the war of aggression against Ukraine started by Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin, the West imposed sanctions.

Deutsche Bank stated that it had set aside provisions of 260 million euros in the event of the court decision that has now been made. However, this sum is fully secured by a compensation agreement with a customer. “It remains to be seen how this decision will be implemented by the Russian courts and what consequences this will have for our operations in Russia,” the bank said.

Deutsche Bank is the next credit institution to have its assets in Russia confiscated by the court. Commerzbank, the Italian Unicredit and a European subsidiary of the major US bank JP Morgan also suffered this fate.

According to a ruling by a Moscow court, Commerzbank and JP Morgan were affected by a total of 12.4 million euros. At Unicredit, a court in Saint Petersburg ordered the confiscation of assets and property worth around 460 million euros, also in connection with the Linde project.

Russia is increasingly responding with retaliatory measures to sanctions imposed by Western countries because of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Numerous companies had to accept the confiscation or seizure of assets and new managers were appointed to the Russian subsidiaries.

Companies that withdraw from Russia sometimes have to sell their businesses to Russian companies at significant discounts. Often only a symbolic ruble is paid.

grey/pg (rtr, dpa)

*The article “Russia freezes Deutsche Bank funds” is published by Deutsche Welle. Contact the person responsible here.