Polish antitrust authorities (Department for Protection of Competitiveness and Consumers) have fined Russia’s state-owned energy giant Gazprom $7.6 billion, or 6.5 billion euros, for its role in building the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany. The authority demands that five European companies break partnership deals with the Russian gas monopolist.They said the project hurts Polish consumers and increases Europe’s dependence on Russian imports. Poland is strongly opposed to the pipeline, which is in its final stages of construction seeing it as a politically-motivated project.The Russian natural gas will be transported across the Baltic Sea bed to Germany and western Europe, bypassing traditional transit routes through Ukraine and Poland.
Other companies fined with up to 10% of the companies’ annual revenueare are French Engie Energy, Austrian OMV, British-Dutch Shell, and Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall. The overall sum of all fines made USD 100,000,000. Later on Wednesday Gazprom said it disagreed with this decision and would appeal the fines. Gazprom refuted the Polish authority’s charges, explaining that Nord Stream 2 was not being built by a group comprising Gazprom and European companies, but by a Gazprom daughter company which was financing it from bank loans.