EU Sues Poland Over Restrictions in Cross-Border Trade of Natural Gas

(Reuters) — The European Commission on Thursday said it is suing Poland over measures imposing additional costs in cross-border trade of natural gas.

"Poland's national gas storage legislation requires undertakings using storage facilities outside Poland to book firm transport capacities and prohibits such undertakings to trade those capacities in case of non-use, except for the case of a gas supply crisis," the EU Commission said in a statement.

Gas suppliers using storage facilities in Poland are not subject to such restrictions, which risk distorting and hampering the functioning of the internal market, as well risking security of gas supply, according to the Commission.

Poland's climate ministry said in an emailed statement that the Commission's position seemed "incomprehensible and mistaken".

"Poland has repeatedly indicated that... due to its significant dependence on imports of natural gas from Russia, the mechanism of maintaining mandatory stocks was based on the key assumption that the possibility of supplying natural gas be guaranteed at all times in the event of the need to release compulsory stocks," the ministry said.

"However, thanks to the ongoing diversification policy, which enabled a change in the structure of natural gas supplies to Poland (to become fully independent from deliveries from the East), it is now possible to undertake work on changing the natural gas storage system," it added.

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