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English Section

Polish city slammed for working with foreign fuel firm: report

17.12.2019 15:00
Polish conservative politicians have slammed local authorities in the northern city of Gdańsk for working with a foreign company that a radio broadcaster reported is owned by investors linked to the construction of the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany.
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Radio Gdańsk reported that Gdańsk City Hall in 2017 established cooperation with Amic Energy, an Austria-based fuel company with a track record of ties to Russia, by enlisting it to offer discounts to residents as part of a City Pass programme.

The public broadcaster said Amic Energy was established from the sale of Russian fuel company Lukoil and “is in the hands of mystery investors, who are involved in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.”

Meanwhile, Gdańsk City Pass holders cannot benefit from discounts at gas stations run by Polish fuel company Lotos, which has its head office in the northern Polish port city, the broadcaster said on its radiogdansk.pl website.

It quoted city officials as saying that they contacted Lotos in 2017 with a proposal to work together but never received a response from the company.

The broadcaster also quoted Lotos as saying that it never received such an email in 2017, but is interested in working with the city if it discontinues its team-up with rival businesses.

Radio Gdańsk quoted Kacper Płażyński, an MP with Poland’s ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, as saying that City Hall in 2017 “made a deal with nobody other than Lukoil” for City Pass discounts for residents.

“This cooperation continues to this day” under Mayor Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, Płażyński said in parliament recently, according to Radio Gdańsk.

The broadcaster also quoted conservative lawmaker Marcin Horała as saying that “the Lotos group should be a natural partner for Gdańsk in a project such as the City Pass.”

Horała added that “benefits for residents would then be much greater" because Lotos is a locally based corporation and one that runs more gas stations in the region, according to Radio Gdańsk.

Meanwhile, Michał Brandt, a spokesman for the Gdańsk Tourism Organisation (GOT), which manages the City Pass programme, told Radio Gdańsk that the main criterion for including partner businesses in the programme was the extent of benefits they could offer to residents.

“We judge all this by the range of benefits that a given partner can offer to residents," not by who owns the company, Brandt said, as quoted on the radiogdansk.pl website.

He added: “Nevertheless, we are interested in working with the Lotos group.”

A Gdańsk City Pass offers residents discounts for some services and products offered in the city by selected institutions and business.

Young people and children can also enjoy free transportation, according to the radiogdansk.pl website.

The Nord Stream 2 gas link is an energy project strongly criticised by both Poland and the United States amid concerns that the pipeline will make the European Union more dependent on Russian gas.

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

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has called Nord Stream 2 “a new hybrid weapon” aimed at the EU and NATO.


Source: radiogdansk.pl