Russia's Gazprom said Wednesday that it will use its right to appeal against the Polish anti-monopoly authority’s (UOKİK) penalty for the company’s lack of approval on a transaction for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
In a statement, Gazprom said it fundamentally disagrees with the position of UOKİK on its penalty claim of over 29 billion Polish Zloty ($7.6 billion).
The company said the decision “violates the principles of legality, proportionality and fair trial, and the unprecedented amount of the fine indicates a desire to oppose the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 project by any means.”
Rejecting UOKİK’s accusations, Gazprom said the company did not violate the anti-monopoly legislation of the Republic of Poland.
The company revealed that Gazprom and five other companies, including Engie, Uniper, OMV, Shell and Wintershall, which were fined over 234 million Zloty ($61.4 million), were accused of setting up a joint venture for the implementation of the Nord Stream 2 project, which has not been approved by the Polish authorities.
Gazprom explained that the project was implemented not by a joint venture, but by a subsidiary of Gazprom using debt financing.
Earlier on Wednesday, UOKiK announced its penalty imposed on Gazprom for its lack of approval on a transaction for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
In 2015, UOKiK received an application filed by the six companies for approval to create a joint venture responsible for the construction and operation of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
However in 2016, the president of UOKiK voiced concerns and reservations over the merger scheme, noting the planned transaction could lead to a restriction in competition.
The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a 1,200-kilometer long joint venture between Russia's Gazprom and five European companies, is set to double the current annual 55 billion cubic meter capacity of the Nord Stream pipeline.
Countries along the construction route, including Germany, Finland and Sweden, have already granted permits, and Denmark, which originally expressed opposition to the project, agreed to a permit last year.
By Sibel Morrow