By Choosing Switzerland, Gazprom Minimizes Risks

Russian natural gas monopolist Gazprom chose Switzerland's jurisdiction to register its holding companies that will pool its foreign assets in the fields of logistics and trading. By doing so, Gazprom will restructure its European assets in order to avoid accusations of having violated the European Union's antimonopoly legislation.


As has been reported earlier, Gazprom was making a choice between three countries: Switzerland, the UK and Luxembourg. The final choice of the gas monopolist was Switzerland – a country that is not a member of the European Union, which will also help Gazprom to avoid the risks inherent in the unstable economic situation in the EU.

This tactic of Gazprom is quite reasonable and can be explained by several factors.

Firstly, the Swiss franc is a sufficiently reliable currency in the volatile world market, because the Swiss franc to euro exchange rate is fixed, thus offering some promise of future stability.

Secondly, the economic situation in Switzerland, thanks to the timely implementation of anti-crisis measures, manage to remain stable throughout the period of the global financial crisis – which is more than can be said of the EU members.

Thirdly, the choice of Switzerland will make it possible for the new Gazprom’s structure to develop in full compliance with the Third Energy Package prepared by the European Commission, which does not allow gas suppliers to control the transport infrastructure utilized in the supply of gas.

Thus, when selecting the best situation for the registration of its holding companies, Gazprom was to minimize risks and ensure stability of operation for its subsidiaries.

D. V. Larionova – researcher, Structural Research Center