Polish national gas firm PGNiG surprised at EC's Gazprom decision

In a statement sent to PAP on Thursday, Poland's national gas monopolist PGNiG said it was surprised and disappointed by the European Commission's decision to approve an agreement with Russia's gas giant Gazprom.

"We are surprised and deeply disappointed by the European Commission’s statement, from which it follows that the application of the 3rd energy package rules may be limited," the company wrote in its statement.

"Commissioner M. Vestager (European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager - PAP) clearly admitted that Gazprom may not implement the 'binding commitments' and, as in the case of Google, fines may be necessary to impose it," PGNiG added.

"We request that the European Commission publish the contents of the settlement decision with Gazprom, and the obligations on Gazprom, as soon as possible. To date, the Commission has only published a document called 'Commitment Proposal'. Until the decision has been published, we will not comment on possible legal steps," the company concluded.

The EC announced earlier on Thursday that it is finally approving an agreement with Gazprom over its abuse of a dominant position in Central and Eastern Europe. The Russian concern will thus avoid any penalties for monopolistic practices. 

At the same time, Brussels ordered Gazprom to allow for the free flow of gas at competitive prices on CEE markets. Should the company break any of these obligations, it could be fined up to 10 percent of its global turnover, without the EC having to prove a breach of the EU's competition rules.

Gazprom itself said it was pleased with the EC's decision, adding it has always complied with the EU's competition law and will continue to do so in the future.