EU Documents Lay Bare Russian Energy Abuse

Russian firm Gazprom has been strangling EU energy markets for years, documents show, as the European Commission takes aim at its new pipeline, Nord Stream 2.

The Russian firm’s “abusive practices” were highlighted in internal commission documents, which came to light on Tuesday (10 April), pertaining to a seven-year old anti-trust dispute.

The papers included a 272-page Statement of Objections, dated 2015, four years after EU officials raided some 20 Gazprom offices in European cities in 2011, seizing more than 150,000 of the firm’s files.

They also included a five-page annex entitled Preliminary Assessment of the Commitments Proposed by Gazprom.

The objections document said the Russian firm had hindered cross-border sales of gas in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Slovakia.

It said the “purpose was to segment the internal market along national borders” so that Gazprom could impose “unfair pricing” in the region.

It also said the Russian company had “leveraged its dominance by conditioning gas supplies … on obtaining certain non-related commitments” from clients, for instance by forcing Poland to yield control over the Yamal gas pipeline in northern Europe.

The annex detailed how Gazprom used destination clauses, re-export bans, restrictions on metering stations, and refusals to change delivery points to “segment” the EU states.

It said Denmark, Finland, Italy, and the Netherlands had also suffered from “significantly” excessive prices, but said the commission had decided to exclude this from its anti-trust proceeding.

“Unfair and politically driven pricing (linked to the Russian Federation’s policy in CEE) is the focal point of Gazprom corporate strategy,” the commission annex said, referring to Central and Eastern Europe.

Full story

via The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

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April 12, 2018 at 10:26AM

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