Finland's Minister of Ownership Steering Tytti Tuppurainen (SDP) appeared before Parliament's Commerce Committee on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the ongoing negotiations with Germany over the financially strapped German gas importer Uniper.
After the briefing, Tuppurainen said that Fortum does not intend to invest new capital in Uniper.
Finland's majority-state-owned Fortum acquired a majority share in the German energy giant in 2019. Currently Fortum has a 78 percent stake in Uniper.
The problems surrounding Uniper have forced Parliament's Commerce Committee to resume work in the middle of the legislature's summer break.
Tuppurainen travelled to Berlin on Thursday over Uniper's financial difficulties. According to Tuppurainen, negotiations over how to rescue Uniper are still "in a delicate phase" after nearly two weeks of daily talks with German and corporate officials.
Just prior to the meeting, opposition Finns Party MP Veikko Vallin said that the party had prepared 16 questions for the meeting, adding that he hoped for transparency. Vallin also said that he would prefer Germany to declare a state of emergency over Uniper, which would allow the company to sell gas at market prices.
National Coalition Party MP Pia Kauma, who also attended the meeting, said she expected Tuppurainen to explain whether the interests of Finnish taxpayers were sufficiently protected in the situation.
As Kauma questioned Tuppurainen, she said she sought to understand why German consumers should not be charged for the increase in energy prices. Furthermore, Kauma inquired about what would happen to 8 billion euros that Fortum has already provided Uniper through a financing arrangement.
Committee member Kai Mykkänen (NCP) stated that Uniper should primarily be able to raise its prices.
"If the situation was reversed, if a German energy company owned Gasum, which provides gas to Finland, and we were in the same predicament, I believe the Finnish government would be forced to subsidise Finnish consumers. Not that the German owner would pay hundreds of millions a month in losses, and gas would be sold at a constant loss," Mykkänen said.
Matias Mäkynen, vice-chair of the prime minister's Social Democratic Party and member of the Commerce Committee, said that Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) had been in close contact with European heads of state, in particular German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
According to Mäkynen, Tuppurainen has also been actively involved in the situation and has utilised her own contacts.
As fossil gas availability from Russia has deteriorated and prices have increased, Uniper has run into problems. Earlier this week, Nord Stream 1's gas supply was completely cut off. The German company's losses are currently running into tens of millions per day. Unless the company reverses its course, it will go bankrupt within weeks.
A solution to the situation is currently being negotiated between the Finnish and German governments.
Finland expects the rescue of Uniper not to result in a huge bill for taxpayers. On the other hand, Germany cannot allow Uniper to go bankrupt because natural gas it provides is so vital to its heating and industry.
15.52: Updated with Tuppurainen comment