Brussels Wants Putin’s Gazprom To Change It’s Methods

EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson told European energy ministers on Tuesday, October 26, that Brussels’ competition police had started gathering evidence on whether soaring energy prices can be blamed on illegal activity by any of the bloc’s main gas suppliers. The European Commission confirmed that questionnaires had been sent to all the parties who could help piece together a case on this fall’s most pressing economic crisis. 

Brussels’ competition investigators avoided mentioning Gazprom by name, but the company is an old sparring partner. Gazprom supplies more than 40% of EU gas imports and was the subject of one of the most high-profile antitrust cases Brussels has ever undertaken, from 2012 to 2018. Although that probe did not result in the eye-watering fine that Russia’s leading critics like Poland and Lithuania had wanted, it did push Gazprom to radically alter its business model across Central and Eastern Europe. 

Still unhappy that Moscow wasn’t heavily fined in 2018, Poland is now leading the charge for EU enforcers to take fresh action over what it sees as market manipulation from the Russians, reported Reuters.

The emergency talks came amid deep divergences between the 27 member States on how to tackle a price crunch that has seen consumers’ bills increase dramatically in recent months.

The wave of price hikes is not expected to ease any time soon, and ministers discussed a set of short-term measures that have been proposed by the European Commission to help consumers and businesses weather the turbulence.

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