(Adds more quotes from the German economy ministry in paragraphs 5-6, effort to get comment from Rosneft in Moscow in paragraph 2)

BERLIN, March 1 (Reuters) - Russian oil giant Rosneft is starting the sale of its German assets and wants to conclude the process by September when the next period of Berlin's trusteeship over them expires, the German government said on Friday.

Lawyers for Rosneft in Germany were not immediately available for comment. Rosneft officials in Moscow were also not immediately available for comment

In the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Berlin put Rosneft assets in Germany, including Berlin's main PCK refinery, under a trusteeship in September 2022.

The trusteeship has been extended since then and a Rosneft lawsuit to challenge Berlin's decision failed in court last year.

"Rosneft Russia has now stated that it has started a sales process and wants to complete it within the period of a further trust extension," a spokesperson for the German economy ministry said in a statement.

"We will check this, including further legal safeguards. The primary goal of our actions remains securing the energy supply, especially securing the operations of PCK Schwedt"

Relations between Russia and the West collapsed after the full scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and Germany has taken steps to shore up its energy security after feeling it had previously relied too heavily on Moscow.

The current trusteeship over Rosneft's German assets expires on March 10, and the period of a new trusteeship is set for another six months.

Russian media has put the valuation of Rosneft's assets in Germany at around $7 billion.

Separately, Germany's federal administrative court said Rosneft had suspended its lawsuit challenging the trusteeship.

Friday's announcement comes after Berlin signalled earlier this month that it was considering expropriating Rosneft's assets, arguing that if Russia regained control over the companies the refineries' operations would be jeopardized because contractual partners would refuse to cooperate.

Moscow previously criticised the potential nationalisation of the assets and said it would defend its interests.

Rosneft owns 54.17% of the PCK Schwedt refinery. Earlier, Shell had separately announced the sale of its 37.5% stake in the refinery, which supplies most of Berlin's fuel, to Britain's Prax Group.

A German economy ministry representative will visit the refinery on March 8 and explain further steps to its employees, the ministry said. (Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; additional reporting by Olesya Astakhova; Writing by Riham Alkousaa and Matthias Williams; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)