Poland fines Russia’s Gazprom $7.6 billion over pipeline

Warsaw, October 7

Polish antitrust authorities have fined Russia’s state-owned energy giant Gazprom USD 7.6 billion (6.5 billion euros) for its role in building the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany, saying the project hurts Polish consumers and increases Europe’s dependence on Russian imports.

The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection on Wednesday also fined five other international companies participating in the project a total of USD 61 million (52 million euros).

Poland is strongly opposed to the pipeline, which is in its final stages of construction and is due to transport Russian natural gas across the Baltic Sea bed to Germany and western Europe, bypassing traditional transit routes through Ukraine and Poland.

The authorities say that the pipeline could lead to higher gas prices in Poland, hurting consumers.

The other companies fined are Engie Energy, OMV, Shell, Uniper i Wintershall.

The fines amount to 10 per cent of the companies’ annual revenue and can be appealed. Gazprom was reported as saying it would appeal. — AP

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