The Polish competition authority fined the Russian state gas group Gazprom more than zloty 29 billion, equivalent to almost EUR 6.5 billion, for the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Poland is saying that Nord Stream is penalising competition and consumers.
Nord Stream 2 runs from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea. The fine comes from the Polish cartel watchdog UOKiK and amounts to 10% of Gazprom’s annual turnover. That is the maximum amount of penalty that can be imposed. Companies that contribute to the construction of Nord Stream 2, such as Shell and Wintershall, have also been fined.
“The construction of Nord Stream 2 is a clear violation of market rules,” said the head of UOKiK. He believes that the pipeline will increase gas prices for consumers, while there are also risks of disruption of gas supply.
Poland has been strongly opposed to the project for a long time, because it would make Europe too dependent on Russian natural gas and give Moscow greater influence. This view is shared by the US government which has imposed sanctions on companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2.