WARSAW, December 9. /TASS/. The European Commission (EC) has sufficient grounds to immediately launch antitrust proceedings against Gazprom and must do it immediately, Polish Minister of Climate and Environment Anna Moskwa said in an interview with the national radio on Thursday.
"We strongly demand that an antitrust investigation be launched against Gazprom immediately," she said.
"I will soon meet with the European Commissioner [for Energy] and will defend this stance. In our opinion, there are legal grounds that allow for launching this trial right now," the minister said.
According to her, it concerns the excessive use of the role of the monopolist by the Russian gas giant. In particular, the European Commission could check the existing agreement between Gazprom and European countries, she noted.
"There are a lot of tools in the framework of an anti-monopoly investigation," Moskwa added.
"It is not clear to us why now the EC does not see any arguments for launching such proceedings. We see them and will show them, prove and persuade the EC to react," the minister said. She noted that Poland had submitted additional documents on this case to the EC in December. "We hope there will be enough of them," she said.
This year, the European Union has faced a significant increase in gas prices, which leads to a serious rise in the cost of electricity. This puts pressure on the economy and consumers.
On September 17, a group of around 40 deputies of the European Parliament has submitted a letter to the European Commission (EC) urging it to investigate Gazprom’s actions that allegedly pushed gas prices up to a record level in Europe from the viewpoint of the EU’s antimonopoly norms. The European Commission confirmed that it had received the letter, but stated that it considers the record growth of gas prices in Europe a result of objective factors.
It was later decided that the EC would check European gas and carbon markets for unfounded speculation. At the same time, the European Commission previously stated that prices for gas are set by the global market, and one of the reasons for the leap is the recovery of the world economy. Gazprom, the main gas supplier to the European Union, fulfilled its contracts, the EC noted.
On October 13, speaking at the plenary session of the Russian Energy Week, President Vladimir Putin called the statements about Russia’s use of energy as a weapon as "politically-charged drivel, which has no grounds." He stressed that even during the toughest times of the Cold War, Russia regularly met its full contractual obligations for supplying gas to Europe on a permanent basis.