Brussels advances new claims against Gazprom

The European Commission has accused Gazprom of taking advantage of its dominant position in the markets of Central and Eastern Europe and violating the anti-monopoly laws, according to European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager. She mentioned Estonia, Hungary, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia as countries that had suffered from Gazprom. The Russian company, according to the European Commission, has tied gas prices to oil prices and demanded that five of the countries pay an excessive price, often above the average by 40%. Gazprom put pressure on EU countries using the gas infrastructure in Poland (Yamal-Europe Pipeline) and Bulgaria (South Stream). Gazprom was given 12 weeks to respond.

Vyacheslav Kulagin, the director of the Center for Studies of World Energy Markets of the RAS Institute of Energy Studies, said in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza that there had been no charges or threats of fines. The Russian company is only an object of investigations. The expert noted that about three-quarters of such cases in Europe ended in a compromise. Kulagin believes that Gazprom may even the prices by cancelling discounts offered to some countries, for example, as compensation for transit.

Fyodor Lukyanov, the editor-in-chief of the Russia in Global Affairs Journal, noted that the political background of the claims was hard to deny. He speculates that the European Commission may indeed be considering the problem according to regulatory documents, but, in reality, the political background is about the diversification program and reduction of dependence on Russia as an energy supplier. The analyst warned that the claims could not be ignored, fines would be imposed regardless, due to the effective bureaucratic and administrative mechanism of the EU.

The European Commission has accused Gazprom of taking advantage of its dominating position on markets of Central and Eastern Europe and violation of the anti-monopoly laws, according to European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager. She mentioned Estonia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia ass the countries that had suffered from Gazprom. The Russian company, according to the European Commission, tied gas prices to oil prices and demanded that five of the countries pay an excessive price, often above the average by 40%. Gazprom put pressure on EU countries using the gas infrastructure in Poland (Yamal-Europe Pipeline) and Bulgaria (South Stream). Gazprom was given 12 weeks to respond.Vyacheslav Kulagin, the director of the Center for Studies of World Energy Markets, RAS Institute of Energy Studies, said in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza that there had been no charges or threats of fines. The Russian company is only an object of investigations. The expert noted that about three fourths of such cases in Europe ended with a compromise. Kulagin believes that Gazprom may even the prices by cancelling discounts offered to some countries, for example, as a compensation for transit.Fyodor Lukyanov, the editor-in-chief of the Russia in Global Affairs Journal, noted that the political background of the claims was hard to deny. He speculates that the European Commission may indeed be considering the problem according to regulatory documents, but in reality, the political background is about the diversification program and reduction of dependence on Russia as an energy supplier. The analyst warned that the claims could not be ignored, fines would be imposed regardless due to the effective bureaucratic and administrative mechanism of the

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