DALLAS — Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a decree to seize ownership of the foreign stakes held in Saint Petersburg Pulkovo Airport (LED).
According to a press release published by TASS, the Russian government-owned media agency, the Russian head of state signed an order referred to as an “anti-sanctions measure” that allows Moscow to transfer what it refers to as “participation interests” in Northern Capital Gateway (NCG), the holding company that operates the airport.
German airport operator Fraport currently owns 25% of NCG, which was given a 30-year concession to operate the airport starting in 2010. Nevertheless, since the start of the Ukrainian crisis, Fraport has distanced itself from its investment and has not commented on this latest development.
Threat to National Interests
TASS reported that these measures were made “in view of a threat to [the] national interests and economic security of Russia, [which] occurred as a result of commitments related to the management of Northern Capital Gateway LLC, by certain foreign legal persons.”
The second-largest Russian bank in the nation, VTB, and Horizon Air Investment SA, a division of Greece’s Copelouzos Group, are two other entities that have held a controlling stake in NCG; it is unclear what the current relationship between these two entities and NCG is.
Roughly a quarter of all passenger traffic flows between LED and various airports in Moscow, including Aeroflot’s hub at Sheremetyevo (SVO), as well as Domodedovo (DME) and Vnukovo (VKO). In 2014, operations from the two former Soviet-era terminals, Pulkovo 1 and 2, were combined into the newly built Terminal 1, which remains operational to this day.
Featured Image: Rossiya Boeing 777-312 (ex EI-UNP) RA-73282. Photo: Adrian Nowakowski/Airways.