Poland Requests European Commission Investigate Possible Gas Price Manipulation
22:25 GMT 06.10.2021 (Updated: 13:49 GMT 19.12.2022)
BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - Polish Deputy Climate and Environment Minister, Adam Guibourge-Czetwertynski, addressed the European Commission on Wednesday with a request to investigate alleged European gas market manipulations.
Natural gas prices have skyrocketed over the past few months, and many factors are responsible. One of them is market manipulation by a dominant gas supplier, Guibourge-Czetwertynski said at the Environment Council meeting, alluding to the Russian company Gazprom.
"We believe that these are clear signs of market manipulation. And we believe therefore the [European] Commission should properly investigate these unfair market practices," the official said.
The EU authorities in charge of reviewing the Nord Stream 2 project must conduct a thorough investigation of whether it complies with the bloc's legislation, and what its potential impact on Europe's energy security is, Guibourge-Czetwertynski added.
"We believe that no gas producers can be allowed to abuse their dominant position," the deputy minister said, noting pipelines going through Ukraine and Poland are now largely unused, despite requests for increased gas supplies.
In response, Russian Ambassador to Poland Sergey Andreev said it is clear who will be blamed for the European gas crisis even before the investigation starts.
"It is hard to say what kind of investigation it will be. But it is clear that the culprit will be found. And it is clear who this culprit will be. So, what steps will be taken next? There will still be need for gas. If Russia is designated as culprit, then what will happen next? Will [Europe] refuse Russian gas? What will it lead to? Sooner or later, they will have to consider the reality," Andreev told the Rossiya 24 broadcaster.
Earlier on Wednesday, European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson said that Moscow has been complying with all of its long-term commitments, but extra capacities were not booked despite growing prices. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also pointed out that it was not Gazprom, but Europe that did not secure more supplies.
In September, forty members of the European Parliament urged the European Commission to investigate Gazprom's actions. The energy giant was accused of manipulating the market in a bid to pressure the EU authorities to authorize Nord Stream 2.