Poland takes over Gazprom’s Polish assets to protect critical infrastructure: officials

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The Polish government has temporarily taken over Russian energy giant Gazprom’s shares in EuRoPol Gaz, the company that owns the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to officials. 

The Polish government has temporarily taken over Russian energy giant Gazproms shares in EuRoPol Gaz, the company that owns the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline, officials have said, citing security concerns.

The Polish government has temporarily taken over Russian energy giant Gazprom’s shares in EuRoPol Gaz, the company that owns the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline, officials have said, citing security concerns.EPA/Maxim Malinovsky

The decision was made by Poland’s Development and Technology Minister Waldemar Buda on Monday, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

Waldemar Buda, minister rozwoju i technologii Waldemar Buda. Photo: Polish Radio

Poland puts Gazprom’s shares in EuRoPol Gaz under temporary receivership

In a statement shared with state news agency PAP, the Polish Ministry of Development and Technology said that Buda „has put the PAO Gazprom company, which is on Poland’s list of sanctioned Russian entities, into temporary receivership.”

The receivership „extends to all of PAO Gazprom’s shares in the EuRoPol Gaz transit gas-pipelines company,” the ministry went on to say, adding that the move „ensures the security of Poland’s critical infrastructure.”

‘Security of critical gas-transmission infrastructure’   

Meanwhile, Buda told the PAP news agency that “putting Gazprom’s shares into receivership is necessary for the correct functioning of EuRoPol Gaz, including protecting the company from decision-making paralysis and ensuring the security of critical gas-transmission infrastructure.”

Buda added that the move “serves to boost Poland’s energy and economic security, especially now, when we are dealing with Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and Putin’s efforts to destabilise the situation in Europe.”

He stated: “Poland is doing everything to counteract the consequences of Russian aggression, but also to eliminate Russian capital and Russian influences. Expropriation is not possible under the Polish constitution, so together with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration we have introduced temporary receivership.”

Buda also said that Poland was the first country in Europe to implement this policy.

‘Decision enables EuRoPol Gaz to function again’

Buda argued that, following Poland’s sanctions against Gazprom, EuroPol Gaz “was in a decision-making stalemate,” leaving Gaz System, the operator of the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe pipeline, “without a partner for making key decisions for the security of the infrastructure.”  

Stanisław Żaryn, a deputy minister in charge of the security services, told Polish Radio that Monday’s decision, taken at the request of the Internal Security Agency (ABW), allowed EuRoPol Gaz to “function normally again.”

Żaryn stressed that the company was “crucial for Poland’s energy security.”

Under Polish law, the government can put a sanctioned company into temporary receivership “if it is necessary to ensure its continued functioning, in order to protect jobs, to maintain its ability to provide services to society or to perform other tasks of a public nature; or if it is necessary to protect the country’s economic interests,“ according to officials.

EuRoPol Gaz owns the 684-kilometre Polish section of the Yamal-Europe natural-gas pipeline. The Polish section of the pipeline is operated by Gaz System.

Poland’s state gas company PGNiG and Gazprom each hold a 48 percent stake in EuRoPol Gaz, with the remaining 4 percent belonging to the Gas-Trading company, the PAP news agency reported.   

Tuesday is day 265 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  

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Source: IAR, PAPpropertynews.pl  

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