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Source: icgb.eu

  Shortly after President Aliev inaugurated the first phase of the Southern Gas Corridor and announced the opening of the TANAP pipeline on June 12th, Russia beefed up its wartime machine to block competition to its gas supplies in Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria. The timing of the agreement between the Turkish government and Gazprom on the onshore segment of Turkish Stream matched to the day the news from Azerbaijan. Ostensibly, this a legitimate defense of Gazprom’s market shares, having already lost substantial chunks in the diversified market of Turkey and Greece – where it accounts for 50-60% of the gas imports.   When the periscope moves on to Bulgaria – the bounty is a complete and seemingly durable monopoly. Yet, even in this small market, the Russian state company has

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gazprom-beh

  It is strange to watch that the Bulgarian Energy Holding has opted to push the limits of the patience of the European Commission’s anti-trust body whereas Gazprom has chosen reconciliation.   Concurrently, Russian media are singing praise for Bulgaria, as the only EU member in the CEE that has formally voiced support for Gazprom’s commitment letter – to be used as the basis for a case resolution.   The Directorate-General for Competition is conducting a parallel investigation into BEH on its abuse of a dominant position, which is reminiscent of the case against Gazprom. Easy comparisons might be misleading but rather interesting and revealing.1   The scale of the two cases is incommensurate. There are many nuances, yet the matrix is identical. What is most important – the comparison