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Poland slaps a €40-million fine on France’s Engie over Nord Stream 2 project

Warsaw, Poland – Poland has imposed a €40-million fine on French energy company Engie over its role in the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.

Last week, the Polish anti-monopoly agency UOKiK announced it had fined Engie, one of five European energy companies involved in financing the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, €40 million.

In a statement, UOKiK’s deputy-head said that the French energy company “has stubbornly and in an unjustified way refused to give us the documents and materials we demanded” as part of their proceedings against Gazprom, the lead-shareholder of the controversial pipeline project. “It caused a significant delay in our actions regarding the financing of Nord Stream 2”, he added.

Engie announced it refuted the legality of the fine and will appeal the decision.

Led by Russian conglomerate Gazprom, Nord Stream 2 is also funded by nearly half a dozen European companies: France’s Engie, Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall, Anglo-Dutch company Shell and Austria’s OMV.

For years, Poland has been campaigning against Nord Stream 2, a gas pipeline that would pump gas directly from Russia to Germany through the Baltic sea, arguing it will increase Europe’s energy dependence on Moscow and undermine the EU’s goal for energy security. The U.S., which is seeking to strengthen the foothold of its own energy companies in Central Europe, has also tried to block the project.

But two weeks ago, Denmark gave its approval for the project, removing the last major legal hurdle for the completion of this controversial joint venture between Russian and EU energy companies.

“Nord Stream 2 has received all necessary permits from all countries whose waters and territories it passes and continues as planned”, the consortium said in comments to Reuters.

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