How should Poland become the main barrier to Nord Stream 2?
So, there was some clarity with the sanctions that Gazprom was expecting in an attempt to complete the construction of Nord Stream-2 on its own. Of the two options we are talking about told the day before, the US senators at this stage have so far chosen "light."
Apparently, Warsaw should be Washington’s main ram against the Russian-German gas pipeline.
The Akademik Chersky pipe-laying vessel stands in the German port, where the main logistics center of the project is located. In order to begin completion in Danish waters, he needs retrofitting and insurance. According to Bloomberg, the bill by US senators Cruise and Sheehan imposes sanctions on insurance companies that agree to work with Russian specialized courts. Also, those companies that wish to provide Gazprom and its structures with the equipment necessary for the implementation of Nord Stream-2 will fall under US restrictive measures, Technology and port services.
These are quite serious measures, judging by the previous behavior of the Swiss contractor, who immediately gave up work on the gas pipeline at the mere mention of sanctions. However, direct restrictions against Gazprom and its European consumers are still far away. For direct pressure on the Russian corporation, the United States chose Poland.
Relations between Moscow and Warsaw on the gas issue are constantly deteriorating. The transit agreement with Gazprom expired in May, and the Polish leadership did not renew it. Moreover, by 2022 it intends to completely abandon Russian gas, replacing it with American and British LNG and the Norwegian pipeline. Warsaw’s position prevented Gazprom from creating a joint venture with Shell, Engie, Wintershall, Uniper and OMV to implement Nord Stream-2, forcing them to look for workarounds. In addition to this, the Poles were able to win a lawsuit in the amount of almost $ 1,5 billion against the domestic monopolist in the Stockholm arbitration and threaten to arrest the state-owned European assets as interim measures.
Now, multi-million fines have come into play. The Polish Antitrust Authority (UOKiK) is demanding from the Russian gas company 50 million euros for refusing to provide information on Nord Stream-2, and the likelihood that it will receive them is very high. The situation is very mixed.
Back in February, Warsaw asked Gazprom to provide all the information on Nord Stream-2, but was refused, citing the fact that the project is public and all its parameters are widely known, and Poland is not a participant at all. In general, everything is so, but there is one important nuance. Poland is a full member of the European Union, and under Polish law, Gazprom working on its territory must coordinate projects in other EU countries with the Polish Antimonopoly Committee. Dura lex, sed lex: the law is harsh, but it is a law.
It is not known whether the lawyers of our “national treasure” are well acquainted with Polish laws, but they clearly missed this moment, proudly taking up a pose in the spirit of “none of your business”. Alas, them too. Earlier, a similar fine in the amount of 40,3 million euros received the French company Engie. In general, another stone in the garden of the legal department of the state corporation. We have few problems, they also create them themselves out of the blue ...
- Author: Sergey Marzhetsky
- Used photos: www.nord-stream.com