Polish Watchdog Threatens to Fine Gazprom in NS2 Case
Polish regulator UOKiK has initiated proceedings against Gazprom, it said on June 3, warning it may fine the Russian company €50mn ($56mn) in a case relating to the financing of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.
Poland has been one of Nord Stream 2's harshest critics in Europe, condemning the project as an affront to EU solidarity and a threat to the bloc's energy security. In 2018, UOKiK brought charges against Gazprom, France's Engie, Germany's Uniper and Wintershall, now Wintershall Dea, Austria's OMV and Anglo-Dutch Shell for financing Nord Stream 2's construction without a legally required permit. It had earlier blocked the six companies from forming a joint venture, controlled by Gazprom. At the start of 2020 it requested that Gazprom provide documents relevant to the case but it failed to do so.
"Law is clear and applies equally to all of us, however Gazprom refused to provide documents relevant to our investigation on several occasions," UOKiK's president Tomasz Chrostny said in a statement. "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. According to the law, the company is liable to a financial penalty of up to €50mn."
UOKiK noted that any transaction that has an impact on a country's market should be reported to that country's national antitrust authority and respond to its requests, under EU law. The regulator fined Engie for failing to provide documents in the case, but the French utility has appealed against the decision.