Nord Stream 2 AG, the operator of the Nord Stream 2 construction project, does not have information about any lawsuits that could affect the organization’s property. This was announced by company spokesman Jens Muller.

“Nord Stream 2 AG is not aware of any legal proceedings that could affect the company's assets and, consequently, the project,” he told TASS.

Earlier, an interview appeared with the Deputy Minister of State Assets of Poland Janusz Kowalski to Wprost, in which he announced the Polish side’s intention to seize Gazprom’s assets in Europe, including shares of the first and second Nord Stream projects, in compensation for the case of Yamal contract. According to him, this could "slow down the process of building the second branch of this gas pipeline."

He emphasized that Warsaw thus wants to implement the decision of the Stockholm court in late March 2020, which, she claims, has resolved the dispute between Russian Gazprom and the Polish oil and gas company PGNiG in favor of the latter. Kowalski believes that in order to receive payments, Poland should follow the path of the Ukrainian Naftogaz, which tried to seize Gazprom’s assets in Europe.

“Today, when we are faced with the question of how to recover from Gazprom over 6 billion zlotys ($ 1.4 billion), which were awarded to the Polish side through the Arbitration Court in Stockholm in favor of PGNiG in respect of overpayment for gas, then the best the option, in my opinion, is just such a tough seizure. Today PGNiG also follows in this direction, ”added the Deputy Minister of State Assets of Poland.

We are talking about the so-called Yamal contract, which was signed in 1996 and is valid until 2022. The agreement provides for the supply of up to 10 billion cubic meters of fuel per year through the Yamal-Europe pipeline from Russia through Belarus to Poland and Germany. At the same time, Warsaw stated that the formula for calculating the price allegedly does not correspond to the situation on the market. In 2012, Russia reduced the cost of gas under this contract for the Polish side by 10%.

But in 2015, Poland again demanded a reduction and appealed to the Stockholm court. At the end of March, representatives of PGNiG reported that they had received a court decision, according to which, according to them, a new price was set for gas supplied from Russia from November 1, 2014. According to the Polish side, Gazprom should return the difference of more than 6 billion zlotys ($ 1.4 billion) for the period from November 1, 2014 to February 29, 2020.

In response to PGNiG’s claims at Gazprom, they said at the end of March that they had received the decision of the arbitral tribunal and began to study it, but “to give any estimates to the amounts of possible payments prematurely.”

“Political order”

Anton Morozov, a member of the State Duma’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, said in an interview with RT that there is a third party in the history of litigation between Poland and Russia, which also has interests in the energy sector. 

“I think this is another reason for pressure on Russia. In the field of energy supplies to Europe, Poland, as you know, goes in the US channel, which have their own interest in the gas market of European countries. Therefore, Poland is fulfilling their political order to put pressure on Russia, ”Morozov emphasized.

Recall that in November 2019, Poland announced that they did not intend to extend the Yamal contract, which expires at the end of 2022. State Concern PGNiG plans to increase supplies of liquefied natural gas from the USA and Norway. At the end of 2018, the company signed long-term LNG supply contracts with the American Cheniere Marketing International, Port Arthur LNG and Venture Global LNG.

  • PGNiG office in the Polish city of Bydgoszcz
  • © Jaap Arriens /

Anton Morozov also added that, according to him, the Polish plan to seize the assets of Nord Stream 2, from the point of view of legislation and judicial practice, is “unpromising.” He called on Warsaw "to develop constructive approaches to cooperation with Russia, and not to use the language of blackmail and pressure."

Ukrainian and Polish way

Blackmail is completely redundant, because Gazprom is still studying the decision of the Stockholm court, said Igor Yushkov, an expert at the Financial University under the Russian government and a leading analyst at the National Energy Security Fund.

Gazprom, in general, will not refuse to pay, there is simply a temporary delay in the negotiations. It is possible that some sort of a comprehensive agreement is being discussed that Poland refuses or reduces its claims for the proceedings in the Stockholm arbitration, and Gazprom agrees to some option for transit, ”the expert explained in an interview with RT.

The analyst recalled that this was precisely the story of the disputes between Gazprom and Naftogaz, which, despite numerous mutual lawsuits, nevertheless renegotiated the transit agreement at the end of 2019. 

“These cases (Ukrainian and Polish. - RT ) are really similar, because both there and there are a whole range of questions for each other. That is, it is not only a matter of price. This is a matter of transit and a new transit agreement, ”said Yushkov.

But it is also impossible to talk about the absolute identity of the negotiations between Russia, Poland and Ukraine. The expert noted that in the situation with Naftogaz, the Stockholm court decided that Gazprom did not comply with the “download or pay” conditions, although “in fact there was no such condition in the contract, it was just brought by arbitration”. That is, it turns out that Gazprom had to compensate Naftogaz for underpayment. In the case of PGNiG, the Stockholm Arbitration considered that the Russian company supplied gas to Poland at an inflated price and “the pricing formula itself has changed retroactively,” Yushkov explained.

“Most likely, Gazprom will agree to pay some amount. For him, the question now is not in her, but in the parameters of the transit agreement with Poland ... Either this will be a compromise solution and a long-term contract, as was the case with Ukraine, or the parties will disagree, and Poland will work according to general European rules ” “He concluded.