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English Section

Polish antitrust watchdog fines firm over Nord Stream 2

08.11.2019 14:00
Poland’s antitrust authority on Friday said it had imposed a record fine on a company involved in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany.
Image by Magnascan from Pixabay
Image by Magnascan from Pixabay Pixabay License

The controversial 1,200-kilometre pipeline being built under the Baltic Sea is expected to have the capacity to send around 55 billion cubic metres of Russian natural gas a year directly to Germany, while bypassing the Baltic states, Poland and Ukraine.

Poland has vehemently opposed the project, saying it will pose a threat to Europe’s energy security by doubling Russia’s gas export capacity via the Baltic Sea.

Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) said on Friday it ordered the Engie Energy company to pay PLN 172 million (EUR 40 million) for failing to cooperate in proceedings involving in the Nord Stream 2 project.

The fine is the result of proceedings that the Polish anti-monopoly authority launched in April last year against Russia’s Gazprom and five international companies, Uniper, Wintershall, Shell, OMV and Engie, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

It quoted the watchdog’s head, Marek Niechciuk, as saying that Engie Energy failed to provide his office with "the required information" as part of the case.

In August 2016, the Polish anti-monopoly office opposed a planned consortium between Gazprom and its European partners, saying the Nord Stream 2 project would undermine competition, Poland’s PAP news agency reported.

Last week, Denmark granted permission for Nord Stream 2 to run through its waters in the Baltic Sea, clearing the last major hurdle to the completion of the project.

Warsaw has strongly criticised Nord Stream 2 amid concerns that the pipeline will make the European Union more dependent on Russian gas.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said last year that Nord Stream 2 was “a new hybrid weapon” aimed at the European Union and NATO.

(gs/pk)

Source: IAR, PAP, uokik.gov.pl