Polish antimonopoly regulator UOKIK fined five partners of the Russian company Gazprom about $60 million for the construction of the Nord Stream – 2 gas pipeline. The reason was the lack of a work permit.
These companies are obliged to break off their contracts for financing the gas pipeline construction within a month, the regulator said.
Gazprom itself is also fined with a $7.6 billion fine.
Companies Engie Energy, Uniper, OMV, Shell and Wintershall were penalized.
The Polish regulator believes that in 2015 the companies entered into a number of agreements on joint work on the project without obtaining permission to establish a joint venture. At the same time, the companies actually became Gazprom’s quasi-shareholders, having received the right to accept a part of the Company’s shares as compensation in case of failure to meet the conditions. The regulator called this scheme an attempt to circumvent Polish laws.
“The fact that the joint venture is financed by gas market participants, not by a financial institution, proves that all participating entities have the same economic interests. Without the participation of these entities Nord Stream-2 would not have been able to operate and implement the gas pipeline project in the European Union, which means that it would most likely not have been implemented at all,” said Tomasz Krzystny, Head of UOKIK.