Poland threatens to seize Gazprom assets

Polish Deputy Minister of State Assets Janusz Kowalski said in an interview with WProst that he was ready to put pressure on Gazprom to force the Russian company to comply with the Stockholm arbitration decision and change the gas price formula for Warsaw. This could include the seizure of Nord Stream 2 assets.

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

According to the Polish politician, the situation is very similar. "If the Russians do not respect the law, the seizure of assets of Nord Stream 2 AG may delay the implementation of the Nord Stream-2 project," he said.

At the same time, Kowalski emphasized that Warsaw should not make concessions to Gazprom. According to him, there are people in Poland who propose not to argue with the Russian company, considering it a reliable supplier. "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 complained.

According to the ruling of 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 Russia and Poland concluded in 1996) has to be changed.  Because of that Gazprom had to recalculate the cost of deliveries from 2014 and return the overpaid amount to Warsaw. Poland says Gazprom is obliged to return about $1.5 billion.

The Polish oil and gas company PGNiG has asked Gazprom to recalculate gas prices delivered in recent weeks but has not received a response from Moscow. In Warsaw, such actions were considered a gross violation of the terms of the contract.

  Gazprom, PGNiG, Poland, Russia