Poland says to take over Gazprom's Polish assets
WARSAW, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Poland will take over Gazprom's Polish assets, a minister said on Monday, adding the move concerned the Russian company's 48% stake in Europolgaz, which owns the Polish section of the Yamal gas pipeline.
The compulsory administration will ensure security of the critical infrastructure used for gas transit, Polish Development Minister Waldemar Buda, said in an emailed statement.
In September, Poland imposed sanctions on Gazprom and said its assets would be frozen after in April sanctioning 50 Russian oligarchs and companies, including Gazprom, in a move to increase pressure on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.
Russia at the same time halted gas exports to Poland after Warsaw refused to pay in roubles.
"We are doing all we can to counteract Russia's aggression and eliminate Russian capital and influence, expropriation is not possible under (the) Polish constitution hence we decided to put in place compulsory management," Buda said.
While Europolgaz owns the 684-kilometer long Polish section of the Yamal, the pipeline is operated by Polish state-owned gas transmission company Gaz-System.
After Gazprom was sanctioned, the pipeline operator did not have a partner for making key decisions on the infrastructure. (Reporting by Alan Charlish and Marek Strzelecki, Editing by Louise Heavens and Alexander Smith)