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Poland's PGNiG urges tough stance in EU antitrust case vs Gazprom

WARSAW (Reuters) -- State-run Polish oil and gas company PGNiG urged the European Commission on Thursday to take a tough stance in its antitrust investigation into Gazprom, saying the Russian company should have to pay a fine and sell assets.

EU competition regulators said in March that concessions made by Gazprom following charges it has abused its dominant position in central and eastern European gas supplies should ease concerns of market abuse.

That provisional deal moved closer to ending one of Brussels' longest-running antitrust probes, which could have seen Gazprom fined up to 10% of annual global turnover.

However, the deal is subject to feedback from some EU states and market players, and Poland, which imports most of the gas it consumes from Russia, said in March it would use "all legal means" to block the proposed settlement.

"The European Commission should financially punish Gazprom and create competitive conditions on the gas market," PGNiG said on Thursday, presenting details of the feedback it has to send to the Commission by Friday.

Chief Executive Piotr Wozniak told a news conference that Gazprom had abused anti-monopoly laws by, for example, setting different gas prices for different clients, imposing higher prices for some clients and linking its gas supplies with control over gas infrastructure.

"We have calculated every single cent we have overpaid for the gas," Wozniak said, but declined to give a figure for this or the size of fine it was seeking for Gazprom.

PGNiG also said it wanted the Commission to take steps to prevent Gazprom from abusing its dominant position in future.

It said Gazprom should have to sell controlling stakes in companies that own key gas infrastructure in the EU, including the Jamal-Europe gas pipeline, as well as the Opal link and Katharina underground gas storage in Germany.

Wozniak said PGNiG was the last market participant to provide feedback in the EU's antitrust case against Gazprom.

"Mostly everyone has focused on its own market, but there is some agreement regarding the sale of infrastructure (...)," he said.

Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; Writing by Marcin Goclowski; Editing by Greg Mahlich and Mark Potter


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