Gazprom denies allegations of breaching EU antitrust rules
MOSCOW, April 22 (RAPSI) – Allegations of the European Commission that Gazprom is breaking EU antitrust rules are groundless, Russian gas giant said in a statement on Wednesday.
On April 22, the European Commission sent a statement of objections to Gazprom alleging that some of its business practices in Central and Eastern European gas markets constitute an abuse of its dominant market position in breach of EU antitrust rules.
“Gazprom considers the European Commission’s complaints to be groundless. The Statement of Objections is only one step in the antitrust investigation and does not amount to declaring Gazprom guilty of breaking EU antitrust rules,” the Gazprom statement says.
Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said they would contest the EC charge.
The company acts in strict compliance with international law and the legislation of the countries where it operates, Gazprom’s statement says, adding that its price formation rules are consistent with the principles used by other gas producers and exporters.
“We hope that our rights and legitimate interests that are based on EU laws and international law will not be infringed upon during the investigation, and that our European colleagues will take into account the fact that Gazprom, as a company established outside EU jurisdiction, has socially significant functions and status as a state-run strategic organization in accordance with Russian legislation,” the statement says.
Gazprom has said it expects the issue to be settled with due regard for the agreement between Russia and the European Commission on searching for a mutually acceptable decision regarding the antitrust investigation at the intergovernmental level.
The EU commissioner in charge of competition policy, Margrethe Vestager, said: “All companies that operate in the European market – no matter if they are European or not – have to play by our EU rules. I am concerned that Gazprom is breaking EU antitrust rules by abusing its dominant position on EU gas markets. If our concerns were confirmed, Gazprom would have to face the legal consequences of its behavior.”