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BRUSSELS, October 26. /TASS/. The European Commission (EC) and Gazprom reached progress in settlement of the antimonopoly probe opened by the EC against the Russian gas holding, Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said on Wednesday after consultations with Gazprom in Brussels.
"We have made progress but there is still quite some work ahead. Our goal is to achieve the best outcome for European households and businesses," Vestager said.
The parties discussed the possibility for Gazprom making commitments to address the Commission's competition concerns, the Commissioner said. "To be effective, such measures would have to ensure the free flow of gas in Central and Eastern Europe at competitive prices," she added.
"In particular, our objective is to ensure that restrictions to re-sell gas cross-border are removed once and for all and to facilitate the flow of gas to Central and Eastern European gas markets. Second, we want gas prices in Central and Eastern Europe to reflect competitive benchmarks. It is essential for people throughout the EU that they can heat their homes and fuel their businesses with competitively priced natural gas. Finally, we aim to ensure that Gazprom cannot act on any rights concerning gas infrastructure, which it obtained from customers by having leveraged its market position in gas supply," Vestager said.
Gazprom will have to formally submit commitments that meet the Commission's objectives, the EC Commissioner said. "The Commission would then launch a market test to give customers and other stakeholders the opportunity to submit their views," Vestager added.
Gazprom is making final clarification and will forward the proposal to settle the antimonopoly probe to the EC shortly, the Russian gas holding said earlier today.