Poland may fine Gazprom over Nord Stream 2 pipeline case - Metro US

Poland may fine Gazprom over Nord Stream 2 pipeline case

FILE PHOTO: St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland’s UOKiK watchdog may fine Russian gas producer Gazprom <GAZP.MM> up to 50 million euros ($56 million) due to a lack of cooperation in anti-monopoly proceedings related to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, UOKiK said on Wednesday.

UOKiK said in 2018 it charged six companies, including one owned by Gazprom, with financing construction of the pipeline without a legally required permit. It said that in early 2020 Gazprom failed to provide documents relating to the case.

“Gazprom cannot operate above the law and, for that reason, I have initiated proceedings against the company to impose a fine for failure to provide information during the pending investigation,” UOKiK President Tomasz Chrostny said in a statement.

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 already dominant position on the market.

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>.

In 2019 UOKiK fined Engie 40 million euros for failing to provide documents and information relating to the case.

Gazprom could not immediately be reached for comment.

($1 = 0.8922 euros)

(Reporting by Marcin Goclowski and Alan Charlish; Editing by Jason Neely and Edmund Blair)

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