Polish watchdog to appeal after court overturns Gazprom fine – Reuters

Lawsuits against Gazprom and five other companies (Engie Energy, Uniper, OMV, Shell and Wintershall) were launched in May 2018.
Maxim Shipenkov/PAP/EPA

Poland’s Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) has announced it will appeal a Polish court ruling overturning fines imposed on Russian natural gas giant Gazprom and five companies responsible for the pipeline project. Russian-German Nord Stream 2.

Prosecutions against Gazprom and five other companies (Engie Energy, Uniper, OMV, Shell and Wintershall) had been launched in May 2018. Two years later, UOKiK imposed a fine of more than 29 billion PLN (6.2 billion euros). euros) to Gazprom, and more than PLN 234 million (EUR 50 million) in fines to the five companies.

Poland’s Competition and Consumer Protection Court, a so-called antitrust court that reviews, among other cases, administrative decisions made by the head of the UOKiK, overturned the UOKiK’s ruling on Monday.

While imposing the fines, UOKiK said they were linked to the companies forming a consortium to fund the Nord Stream 2 project without the watchdog’s permission.

UOKiK also said at the time that due to its president’s decision, the mentioned companies were forced to stop funding the Nord Stream 2 project.

“We were surprised by the court ruling,” UOKiK leader Tomasz Chrostny said in a statement on Monday.

Nord Stream 2 is a Russian-German gas pipeline along the bed of the Baltic, connecting Russia and Germany and bypassing Eastern Europe. Germany suspended its opening after Russia invaded Ukraine.

At the end of September, several major gas leaks were reported in the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines off the Danish island of Bornholm. The leaks were caused by powerful underwater explosions, according to Swedish and Danish seismograph data, in an alleged act of sabotage.

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