EU sent furious letter as Poland blows top over Russian 'manipulation' on global gas

Poland has seen supplies of gas transiting through its pipeline significantly decrease.

It has come as result of Vladimir Putin’s gas squeeze on Europe as he awaits the approval of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Nord Stream 2 was built after German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Russian President struck up a deal for gas to be transited from Russia to Germany, bypassing Poland and Ukraine.

But in the hope of avoiding implementation of EU regulations across the Nord Stream 2 system, and to speed up certification from German regulators, Russia has decreased supplies of gas travelling into Europe through other pipelines, including Poland.

Poland is now arguing is pipelines are currently underutilised, meaning Nord Stream 2 is unnecessary, and holds the view that Mr Putin has been weaponizing the pipeline and is using it for geopolitical gains.

The letter from Poland, addressed to Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, alleges: “The goal seems to be clear – to obtain a privileged position on the market for Gazprom and Nord Stream 2 by abuse of dominant position, undermining of the EU legal system.”

Signed by Poland’s climate and environment minister, Michał Kurtyka, on October 19, the letter also claims the Kremlin’s attempt to link the increase of European gas deliveries with the completion of Nord Stream 2 “can only be treated as a misleading and manipulative attempt and clearly show the instrumentalisation of gas supplies by Russia to achieve a political objective.”

Gazprom, the state-owned gas company and operators of the gas pipelines, has now been called into question by Poland.

Poland have now urged the European Commission to open an investigation into Gazprom’s alleged behaviour.

And Poland is not the only country that has been affected by the gas squeeze.

Over the last few months, European gas prices have soared to record highs and prompted fears of an energy crisis taking a hold over Europe.

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But the Kremlin’s latest comments suggest that Russia will only up the supplies when Nord Stream 2 gets certification.

Warsaw believes that Gazprom is abusing its grip on the EU energy market, which violates EU law.

Poland suggests Gazprom has made no additional capacity bookings via the Yamal pipeline or via the Ukrainian Gas Transmission System (UGTS), has limited supplies travelling through Nord Stream 1 and has brought down European gas storage facilities operated by Gazprom to an all -time low.

The letter says: “This creates a picture of a set of deliberate measures resulting in the undersupply of gas from the Russian direction accompanied by creating a false sense of urgency to start the operation of Nord Stream 2”.

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