From Europa-Park to Schalke 04: where Nord Stream AG is involved in Germany

Gazprom: Schalke advertising, roller coaster: Putin’s gas propaganda is everywhere in Germany

The federal government has temporarily suspended the controversial Nord Stream 2 energy pipeline. This should affect the Russian group Gazprom, to which Nord Stream 2 AG belongs completely, badly. But even after the pipeline’s temporary shutdown, Germany’s energy giant has a finger in the pie in some places.

Nord Stream 2: The name of the pipeline is omnipresent and is part of the “Nord Stream” project, which aims to secure Europe’s energy supply. So far, the pipeline is not even operational, but the recent escalation of the Russian crisis ensures that it will remain so for the time being. Nord Stream 2 is owned by Nord Stream 2 AG, which is wholly owned by the majority Russian group Gazprom.

And Gazprom is present in many places in Germany and is always in the news. It wasn’t until early February that it became known that the former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder had been appointed to the supervisory board of the state-owned company. The general assembly of the energy giant will elect him on 30 June. Gazprom is the world’s largest natural gas producer and claims to have the largest gas reserves in the world.

From gas storage facilities to Schalke 04: where Gazprom is involved in Germany

The company’s goal is to become the world’s leading energy company. Gazprom operates several gas storage facilities in Germany. The largest of these is located in Rheden, Lower Saxony, which the Russian group bought from the BASF subsidiary Wintershall Dea in 2015. It is managed by the subsidiary Astora.

Football fans have been secretly clenching their fists on Gazprom’s name for years. Gazprom wants to get rid of its bad image in the West and is now firmly one of the best European football teams. The group has been involved with Bundesliga squad Schalke 04 since 2007. According to the club, they are now reviewing the partnership.

“FC Schalke 04 will monitor further developments, evaluate them and make a strong call for peace to protect those affected by the crisis,” said the club, according to “Spiegel”. Gazprom is Chelsea’s “world energy partner”, run by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. According to the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, there were also talks with FC Bayern Munich.

And “Kaiser” Franz Beckenbauer also worked as a “sports ambassador” for the Association of Russian Gas Producers (RGO), of which Gazprom is obviously responsible, and promoted major sporting events in Russia on behalf of Gazprom. And then the Russian energy company has been the main sponsor of the premier class of Europe since 2012 and has been one of the main sponsors of UEFA since 2015.

Gazprom sponsors the roller coaster and the “Nord Stream 2 Dome” at Europa-Park Rust

But Gazprom is not only active on the football field. Since 2009, the energy giant has been a cooperation partner for Germany’s largest amusement park, Europa-Park in Rust, Baden. Gazprom is not only the sponsor and namesake of the “Blue Fire Megacoaster” roller coaster, but also of the “Nord Stream 2 Dome”.

“In the ‘Nord Stream 2 Dome’ you can expect a cinematic space experience that you will not soon forget. In an 8-minute animation, immerse yourself in the underwater world of the Baltic Sea and follow the construction of this extraordinary infrastructure project,” says the proud statement on the theme park website.

Europa-Park explained to the local press that he is “always in contact with partners on cooperation against the background of current developments”. And furthermore: “Due to current events, Europa-Park is therefore in talks with Nord Stream 2. We hope that a peaceful solution will continue to be found in the general political situation”.

Gazprom made more money in 2021 than ever. After Putin’s speech on Monday evening, however, the share price plummeted. The next few days will show whether Putin’s warmonger will have further consequences for his gas company.

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