Poland threatens seizure of Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 assets

Poland threatens seizure of Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 assets
Nord Stream 2 route (photo by Gazprom)

The Polish Deputy Minister of State Affairs, Janusz Kowalski, has announced that the Polish government may seek the seizure of assets owned by the Russian state-owned gas company Gazprom in the Nord Stream 2 project at the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, local media reported on 28 April.

The seizure of assets may cause severe delays to the implementation of the Nord Stream-2 project.

The move aims to put pressure on Gazprom to force the company to comply with the Stockholm arbitration decision and change the gas price formula for Warsaw. 

According to the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce of March 30, 2020, the pricing formula of the Yamal contract (the gas supply contract that Warsaw and Moscow signed in 1996) needs to be modified.  Because of that arbitration decision Gazprom was forced to recalculate the cost of deliveries from 2014 and return the overpaid amount to Warsaw. Warsaw claims Gazprom should return about $1.5 billion.

Kowalski cited in an interview as an example the dispute between Gazprom and Naftogaz of Ukraine, during which, according to the deputy minister, the Russian side refused to comply with the terms of the arbitration, which led to the seizure of assets of Nord Stream 2 AG in Switzerland.

Kowalski said that Warsaw should not make concessions to Gazprom. “I make it clear that I do not consider Gazprom a reliable partner. We have had various unpleasant stories with them for 20 years, including interruptions in the supply of oil,” Kowalski said.

The Polish oil and gas company PGNiG has contacted Gazprom asking to recalculate gas prices delivered in recent weeks but has not yet received a response from the Russian company.

About Nord Stream 2
Nord Stream 2 is a new export gas pipeline running from Russia to Europe across the Baltic Sea. The project aims to enhance security of supply, support climate goals and strengthen the internal energy market. The decision to build Nord Steam 2 was based on the experience in building and operating the Nord Stream gas pipeline. The new pipeline will establish a direct link between Gazprom and the European consumers.
The entry point of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline into the Baltic Sea will be the Ust-Luga area of the Leningrad Region. Then the pipeline will stretch across the Baltic Sea. Its exit point in Germany will be in the Greifswald area close to the exit point of Nord Stream.
The total capacity of two strings of Nord Stream 2 is 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year. The aggregated design capacity of Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 is therefore 110 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

The route covers over 1,200 kilometers.

Neal Path

Neal Path is a reporter covering international affairs and defense news. He leads a team of specialist technical journalists and defense forecasting analysts, working across a range of online products. Neal Path is a defense technology specialist and has written widely on most areas of defense technology, but his particular areas of interest include missile defense, precision weapons, naval warfare, sensor capabilities and military operations.