State-owned Russian gas giant Gazprom has submitted proposals to the European Commission to avoid potential competition fines, and to end an investigation into the company’s activities that has lasted some six years. According to the commission, the result could mean a more competitive gas price for Estonia.
An agreement between Brussels and Gazprom would mean the end of one of the biggest and longest investigation of a company on grounds of competition issues. The procedure against Gazprom began in September 2011 with 20 raids on company offices across ten countries.
The commission published the company’s proposals on Monday. They include concessions by Gazprom regarding its agreements with Central and Eastern European countries, and giving up all the provisions that so far have led to a fragmented market.
Estonia is now drawing up a proposal regarding the commitments submitted by Gazprom and will have it ready in a couple of weeks, starting from the European Union’s energy policy goals.
The Commission’s proposals regarding Gazprom’s stance needed more thorough analysis. Estonia would have its positions ready in a couple of weeks, deputy secretary general of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ando Leppiman, told BNS.
According to Leppiman, Estonia supports the EU’s energy policy goals, which are energy security, equal access to networks, trust, and diversity of sources. Estonia would base its opinion on these principles, he said.
The Commission has invited comment from all interested parties as regards the gas markets in Central and Eastern Europe, though it already stated in a press release on Monday that the commitments would enable cross-border gas flows at competitive prices.
Gazprom is the dominant gas supplier in a number of Central and Eastern European countries including Estonia. In April 2015, the Commission published a statement of objections, expressing its view that Gazprom had broken EU antitrust rules by pursuing an overall strategy to partition the Central and Eastern European gas markets.
In the view of the Commission, the concessions offered by Gazprom are a valid response to its competition concerns.
Editor: Dario Cavegn
Source: ERR, BNS