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German airport operator Fraport has said that it is critically reviewing its minority interest in Pulkovo Airport operating company in St Petersburg, Russia, on a daily basis.

Fraport suspended business at Pulkovo in March, following Russia’s offensive against Ukraine.

However, a contract prevents it from offloading its 25% minority stake before 2025

Last month, the German operator said that selling the stake would not automatically help Ukraine but would rather offer Russia a three-digit million euro asset.

Fraport has now stated that the situation could change if it finds evidence of the facility being used by Russia to attack Ukraine or if the airport is hit with sanctions.

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This was decided at a special meeting of the Fraport Supervisory and Executive Boards.

At the same time, the company stated that there was currently no indication that Pulkovo was handling armed military planes used in attacks on Ukraine.

Fraport stated that it no longer receives profit or other benefits from its stake in Northern Capital Gateway, which operates Pulkovo.

The German region of Hesse has now contacted the federal government for clarification on the possible use of the airport for military purposes.

Hessian Minister of Finance and Supervisory Board chairman Michael Boddenberg said: “The last thing that we want to do is to give the aggressor a three-digit million sum. We also have an obligation to preserve the assets for taxpayers and the other Fraport co-owners.” 

Fraport and its supervisory board said that they completely support the sanctions targeting Russia.

The airport operator said that there has been a ‘close exchange’ with the company management over the St Petersburg holding and that it has commissioned external legal experts on the matter.

Fraport CEO Dr Schulte said: “Neither Fraport, as a minority shareholder, nor the co-shareholders of the operating company have any influence on the type of flight movements at Pulkovo Airport. As at other airports, government agencies are responsible for this.”