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'Constructive meeting' on competition between Gazprom and EC ended in Brussels

March 09, 17:55 UTC+3
The EC suspects Gazprom of abusing its leading position on the European gas market, and also has questions to its system of long-term contracts and pricing system
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© Ruslan Shamukov/ITAR-TASS Archive

BRUSSELS, March 9. /TASS/. The meeting between Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Russian gas holding Gazprom Alexander Medvedev and European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager ended in Brussels on Wednesday.

"Negotiations were held in constructive manner," Medvedev told journalists.

The sides discussed the ongoing antitrust probe against Gazprom in the European Union. The delegation of the Russian government was headed by Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky, the delegation of Gazprom — by Deputy Chairman Alexander Medvedev, the delegation of the European Commission — European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager. After the meeting, the parties agreed to continue dialogue aimed at finding a mutually acceptable solution that would satisfy both the European Commission and Gazprom.

"Thanks to the hard work and constructive approach of both sides, we are moving towards a mutually acceptable solution. I look forward to continuing the discussion with European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager to resolve any disagreements," Medvedev said.

On April 22, 2015, the European Commission said it sent an official "statement of objections" within the European antitrust investigation started in 2012 to Gazprom. The EC suspects Gazprom of abusing its leading position on the European gas market, and has questions to its system of long-term contracts and pricing system.

On September 23, the EC and Gazprom launched "technical consultations on the antimonopoly case and Gazprom’s proposals of its solution."

On September 28, Gazprom submitted a letter of response to the European Commission on claims within antitrust investigation of its operations in the countries of the European Union. The company considers it necessary to proceed with consultations with representatives of the EC for search of a mutually acceptable solution.

The penalty for the case can be up to 10% of Gazprom’s proceeds, i.e. 7-8 bln euro, but the European Commission and Gazprom are considering the possibility of settling the dispute amicably.

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