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EU competition commissioner notes progress in Gazprom antimonopoly probe talks

January 11, 14:25 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
The European Commission suspects Gazprom of abusing its leading position in the European gas market, and also has questions to its system of long-term contracts and pricing system
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EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager

EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager

© EPA/LAURENT DUBRULE

BRUSSELS, January 11. /TASS/. Progress is observed in talks on an antimonopoly probe opened by the European Commission against Russian gas holding Gazprom, EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said on Monday in an interview posted on Brussels’ EurActiv portal.

"We are discussing commitments (of Gazprom for settlement of claims made by the EC) both at the technical level, but also at my level. It is not all there yet, but it [the case - TASS] is moving forward, as well as the formal procedure," the commissioner said.

"I don’t see it as political talks. It is very important to underline this is a competition case," Vestager added.

"As far as the terms are concerned, we do not know when it will be completed," the official said.

TASS reported earlier on April 22, 2015 the European Commission sent the official list of claims within the European antitrust probe to Gazprom. Gazprom has 12 weeks to respond to official list of claims by the EC, Margrethe Vestager said earlier.

The EC suspects Gazprom of abusing its leading position in the European gas market, and also has questions to its system of long-term contracts and pricing system.

The official antimonopoly probe was initiated on the basis of complaints of Lithuanian authorities to the EC on September 4, 2012. The investigation is carried out in the Baltic States, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria. Under the European law, the penalty for violation of the antimonopoly regulations may reach 10% of the annual turnover of the company on the market.

Gazprom replied to the statement of objections and participated in the verbal hearing of the case before the end of 2015.

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