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    Ziobro assesses he wasn’t aware of Saudi Aramco – PKN Orlen deal details 

    Zbigniew Ziobro, Poland’s justice minister and prosecutor general, has said he is not aware of any specific provisions of a Polish fuel firm’s sale of a stake in a refinery to the Saudi Aramco oil conglomerate.

    Earlier this year, Poland’s biggest fuel firm, PKN Orlen, took over its smaller peer Lotos but was required by the European Commission to divest parts of the newly acquired company. Orlen decided to sell a 30-per cent stake in Lotos’s Rafineria Gdanska to Saudi Aramco and 417 Lotos petrol stations in Poland to Hungarian fuel firm MOL. In its contract with MOL, Orlen also agreed to buy 144 of MOL’s petrol stations in Hungary and 41 in Slovakia.

    The nationwide daily Gazeta Wyborcza wrote on Wednesday that “the sale by Orlen of a part of Lotos to Saudi Aramco went through with a violation of the law on control of selected investments.”

    According to the newspaper, “special services were not allowed to scrutinise the transaction even though Saudi Aramco cooperates with Putin’s Russia.”

    “I don’t know the facts of the contracts and I was not a party to the contracts,” Ziobro said. “I believe the contracts comprise thousands of documents and it is difficult, based on media reports containing different disputes and opinions, to assess whether the contract was good or bad.”

    Ziobro added that if the prosecution is notified of any possible crime, prosecutors will decide on the matter, adding that he supported “transparency and openness.”

    Daniel Obajtek, PKN Orlen’s CEO supported by the ruling Law and Justice party, said on Friday that “the Saudis are our alternative to the supplies of oil from Russia and this way they guarantee our security.”

    According to Orlen, the contract involves supplies of 200,000-337,000 barrels of oil a day, and ultimately 400,000 barrels a day, which will satisfy 45 per cent of Orlen Group’s total demand for crude.

    On Saturday, the Civic Platform, Poland’s main opposition party, said they had filed a notification with the prosecution suggesting that crimes could have been committed in the Saudi Aramco deal.


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