EC investigating Gazprom's activities in order to lower Russian gas price - Duma deputy

The European Commission's opening of a formal investigation into whether or not Gazprom violated its antitrust rules is an attempt to lower the price for Russian gas, deputy head of the Russian State Duma's energy committee Pavel Zavalny believes.

"I think that the EC's actions are aimed at simply reducing the price for Russian gas," he said at a meeting of Russian deputies with a European Parliament delegation at the State Duma on Thursday.

Russian gas occupies 26 percent of the European market, and Europe gets it not just from Russia, but also from other countries. "That's why it's just stupid to talk about some kind of monopoly position for Gazprom on the European market," Zavalny said.

One can only refer to a monopoly position for individual markets by virtue of the development of the gas industry. "But where there is a monopoly position, everything is regulated by the government there. The government always takes the interests of the consumers and the producers into account, both in Russia and in Europe," he said.

"Today Europe has the opportunity to receive additional liquefied gas via re-exports from America. That has provided the possibility of bargaining a bit," Zavalny said.

On September 4, the EC announced that it had opened an official investigation into whether Gazprom had violated its antitrust rules by hindering competition on markets in Central and Eastern Europe.

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