Saturday

3rd Dec 2016

EU waits for Gazprom settlement proposal

The European Commission has asked Gazprom to fall in line with EU competition rules as it seeks to settle their dispute amicably.

After meeting with representatives from the Russian state-owned energy gas company on Wednesday (26 October), EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement that she was awaiting commitments from Gazprom "to ensure the free flow of gas in central and eastern Europe at competitive prices."

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

She said that "all options remain on the table at this stage," adding that Gazprom could be fined up to 10 percent of its global turnover if it failed to meet the commission's requirements.

The meeting, in which Gazprom's deputy chairman Alexander Medvedev and Russian deputy energy minister Anatoly Yanovsky participated, and Vestager's demands are an attempt to avoid the fine, in a context of already tense relations between Russia and the EU.


Vestager said she expected Gazprom to undertake three commitments: remove restrictions on cross-border resales of gas between central and eastern Europe countries; guarantee market prices in the region; and ensure that it does not use its market position to impose conditions on gas infrastructure operators.

The three issues were the reasons why the commission opened an antitrust case against the company in April 2015, following an investigation launched in 2012.

"The commission is concerned that Gazprom has been pursuing an overall strategy to partition central and eastern European gas markets [that] may have enabled Gazprom to charge excessive prices in certain member states," an EU source said.

Vestager gave no deadline to Gazprom to present its measures, which the commission would make legally binding if they were "suitable to address the commission's concerns," and acceptable to Gazprom's clients, she said.

"We are now putting the final touch to our commitment proposal," Medvedev said in a statement after the meeting

Analysis

Doubts hang over EU investment plan's future

Questions of value for money and a lack of transparency complicate adding almost €200 billion more and extending the Juncker investment plan to 2020.

News in Brief

  1. Talks on wholesale roaming rules to start
  2. Lead MEP Dieselgate committee: Italy and Slovakia will cooperate
  3. Transparency NGO sues EU commission on Turkey deal
  4. Pro-EU liberal wins UK by-election
  5. Finnish support for Nato drops, Russia-scepticism grows
  6. Cyprus talks to resume in January
  7. Documents from German NSA inquiry released
  8. Transport commissioner 'not aware' of legal action on emissions

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. CESIElects Leaders and Sets Safety & Health at Work and Gender Equality Among the Guidelines For Next Term
  2. European Gaming & Betting AssociationContinues to Grow its Membership and Welcomes its Newest Member Association
  3. ACCASupports the Women of Europe Awards, Celebrating the Women who are Building Europe
  4. European Heart NetworkWhat About our Kids? Protect Children From Unhealthy Food and Drink Marketing
  5. ECR GroupRestoring Trust and Confidence in the European Parliament
  6. UNICEFChild Rights Agencies Call on EU to put Refugee and Migrant Children First
  7. MIRAIA New Vision on Clean Tech: Balancing Energy Efficiency, Climate Change and Costs
  8. World VisionChildren Cannot Wait! 7 Priority Actions to Protect all Refugee and Migrant Children
  9. ANCI LazioRegio-Mob Project Delivers Analysis of Trasport and Mobility in Rome
  10. SDG Watch EuropeCivil Society Disappointed by the Commission's Plans for Sustainable Development Goals
  11. PLATO15 Fully-Funded PhD Positions Open – The Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the EU (PLATO)
  12. Access NowTell the EU Council: Protect our Rights to Privacy and Security