EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager announced that Brussels has settled a longstanding dispute with Gazprom by reaching an agreement with the Russian gas giant that will impose new conditions on how it conducts business with European countries. However, the EU stopped short of fining Gazprom over its business practices in Central and Eastern Europe, The Guardian reports.
Under the settlement, Gazprom is prohibited from imposing restrictions on how its customers in CEE use gas, thus lifting Gazprom’s reexport bans on Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia. Likewise, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland now have the right to demand a price in line with those in Germany and the Netherlands. If Gazprom does not adjust its prices, the CEE countries can take their complaint to an arbitration body in the EU, which is empowered to impose a lower price. Vestager also said if Gazprom does not comply with conditions of its deal with the EU, the Russian gas giant could be fined up to 10% of global turnover.