Gazprom Debt Obstructs Poland-Russia Gas Agreement

January 11, 2010

Poland and Russia have yet to sign a gas delivery deal for 2010 due to Gazprom owing Warsaw around 410 million dollars.

Poland still has not signed a deal on gas supplies with Russian energy giant Gazprom, which should have been agreed at the end of last year. Poland is delaying the signing because the Russian company owes it over one billion zloty (410 million dollars).  

Gazprom’s debt of 350 million dollars results from paying lower tariffs for gas transit in Poland as required by the Energy Regulatory Office. Additional 60 million dollars debt results from not delivering gas to Poland by Gazprom’s middleman company RosUkrEnergo in 2008. Later, the Russian gas giant took over the company’s debt.  

As for now, Gazprom is willing to sign a new agreement on condition that Poland will cancel a part of its debt. The Polish gas company EuRoPol Gaz, however, does not want to make concessions, claiming that it would violate Polish law.  

“Writing off even a part of the Russian debt would undermine the Energy Regulatory Office’s right to fix tariffs and would be an activity to the detriment of the Polish company,” says Janusz Kowalski from the Economy Ministry.  

The Polish Russian debate on the gas deal opened last year. Russia has the advantage in the negotiations since Poland lacks infrastructure and secured gas supplies from other partners. There is also no consensus among Polish companies as to the agreement with Gazprom. (mg)

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