“The discussions are in an intense and sensitive phase. The discussions have been good and constructive, but there is still a lot of work,” he commented to the Berlin Broadcasting Company.
Uniper said last week that it is leaking tens of millions of euros a day because it has had to purchase natural gas from the spot market at a higher price to compensate for the shortfall caused by the export restrictions imposed by Russia. The purpose of the ongoing negotiations is to prevent the company from becoming insolvent.
“A solution must be found in the near future,” Tuppurainen said.
An agreement must be found not only between the countries, but also between Fortum, Uniper and the German government.
The key question is how the losses from Uniper’s natural gas business will be covered. Fortum and Finland have proposed breaking up the energy company into several entities and transferring the natural gas entity under German control. Uniper itself has proposed that up to 30 percent of its shares be transferred to Germany.
Germany has insisted that Fortum, Uniper’s largest shareholder, is responsible for contributing to the rescue package – potentially totaling billions of euros. If Finland agreed and decided to capitalize Fortum, the costs of the rescue package would ultimately be covered by Finnish taxpayers.
Both Fortum and Finland have been reluctant to capitalize Uniper, as the former recalled that it had already spent eight billion euros to support the struggling company.
On Thursday, Tuppurainen refused to comment on whether Germany is demanding that Finland raise more funds to save Uniper.
“The matter is so sensitive at the moment that I am not going to judge any actual matters. But the desire to move forward is there, and that’s a positive message for us,” he told YLE in Berlin.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: The Nordic Page