June 3, 2020 / 8:23 AM / a month ago

Poland may fine Gazprom over Nord Stream 2 pipeline case

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Russian gas giant Gazprom is seen on a board at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russia, June 6, 2019. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland’s UOKiK watchdog may fine Russian gas producer Gazprom (GAZP.MM) up to 50 million euros ($56 million) due to a lack of cooperation in anti-monopoly proceedings related to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, UOKiK said on Wednesday.

UOKiK said in 2018 it charged six companies, including one owned by Gazprom, with financing construction of the pipeline without a legally required permit. It said that in early 2020 Gazprom failed to provide documents relating to the case.

“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,” UOKiK President Tomasz Chrostny said in a statement.

Poland sees Nord Stream 2, which would double Russia’s gas export capacity via the Baltic Sea, as a threat to Europe’s energy security, saying it will strengthen Gazprom’s already dominant position on the market.

Nord Stream 2 is led by Gazprom, with half of the funding provided by Germany’s Uniper (UN01.DE) and BASF’s (BASFn.DE) Wintershall unit, Anglo-Dutch company Shell (RDSa.L), Austria’s OMV (OMVV.VI) and Engie (ENGIE.PA).

In 2019 UOKiK fined Engie 40 million euros for failing to provide documents and information relating to the case.

Gazprom could not immediately be reached for comment.

($1 = 0.8922 euros)

Reporting by Marcin Goclowski and Alan Charlish; Editing by Jason Neely and Edmund Blair

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