Poland fines Gazprom $57 million over Nord Stream 2 – Metro US

Poland fines Gazprom $57 million over Nord Stream 2

FILE PHOTO: A view shows Chelyabinsk Pipe Rolling Plant in
FILE PHOTO: A view shows Chelyabinsk Pipe Rolling Plant in Chelyabinsk

WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland’s anti-monopoly watchdog UOKiK said on Monday it had fined Gazprom 213 million zloty ($57 million) <GAZP.MM> over a lack of cooperation in its proceedings with regard to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.

Poland sees Nord Stream 2, which would double Russia’s gas export capacity via the Baltic Sea, as a threat to Europe’s energy security, saying it will strengthen Gazprom’s market dominance.

Nord Stream 2 is led by Gazprom, with half of the funding provided by Germany’s Uniper <UN01.DE> and BASF’s <BASFn.DE> Wintershall unit, Anglo-Dutch company Shell <RDSa.L>, Austria’s OMV <OMVV.VI> and Engie <ENGIE.PA>.

UOKiK has been examining the project for years. In 2019 it fined Engie 40 million euros ($47 million) for failing to provide documents and information relating to the case.

“At the beginning of the year, we requested Gazprom provide us with contracts concluded by its subsidiary with other companies financing the construction of Nord Stream 2,” the head of UOKiK said in a statement. “The company failed to provide such information.”

“To my mind, it is an intentional act, the aim of which was to obstruct the ongoing proceedings.”

Gazprom said it had asked UOKiK to provide justification for that request, which it had not received. The Russian energy giant plans to appeal the fine in court, it said on Monday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Gazprom have said they plan to complete Nord Stream 2. More than 90% of the construction has been completed.

Gazprom supplies most of the gas consumed in Poland. Polish state-run gas company PGNiG <PGN.WA> has often complained it pays more than its European peers for Russian gas.

In July, Gazprom paid PGNiG the $1.6 billion the Polish company won in a pricing dispute and PGNiG chief executive said that Poland’s relations with Gazprom were “becoming normal.”

(Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; Additional reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin in Moscow; Editing by Kevin Liffey, Barbara Lewis and Jan Harvey)

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