On December 21 Naftohaz of Ukraine complained to the European Commission about abuse of dominant position of Russian Gazprom on the European gas market. The company petitioned the Directorate General for Competition for immediate measures to normalize the situation.
This was reported by RBC-Ukraine with reference to the press service of the NJSC.
As the head of Naftogaz Yuriy Vitrenko noted, Gazprom has sharply reduced the sale of its own gas on the European spot market despite the growing demand and limits the ability of other companies to supply additional volumes of gas to Europe and compete with Gazprom.
"This is the key reason for the crisis and the record price increases in Europe. Gazprom's actions are anti-competitive and have had significant negative consequences for all European consumers. "Naftogaz, as one of the largest buyers of gas in Europe, also suffers losses because of these abuses. Therefore, we ask the European Commission to react appropriately to the violations," he said.
In its complaint Naftogaz draws the attention of the European Commission to a number of specific abuses.
In particular, it refers to Gazprom's deliberate refusal to properly fill gas storage facilities in the EU, which belong to Gazprom or in which it has significant volumes booked. In addition, the Russian company suddenly and without good reason stopped selling gas through its own electronic platform. Having sufficient volumes of gas and the possibility to use free transit capacity of the Ukrainian GTS, Gazprom refused to supply large volumes to the EU. Also, without good reason, Gazprom never added a gas transfer point on its electronic platform at the Russian-Ukrainian border. In addition, Gazprom continues to block the export of gas produced in Russia by private companies, as well as blocking the transit of gas from Central Asia to Europe, the NAC said.
"The purpose of such actions is, in particular, to create an artificial shortage of gas and pressure on the European Union to launch the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline as soon as possible without complying with the requirements of European legislation. "Gazprom's" actions directly contradict the European antitrust law and have already resulted in record high prices of $1921 per 1,000 cubic meters (as of December 21, 2021)," - reads the statement.
The complaint also says to exclude discriminatory approaches by Gazprom when using Nord Stream-2, the Ukrainian gas transportation system and other transit routes through which Russian gas is transported to Europe.
Therefore, Naftogaz asks the European Commission to take a set of immediate interim measures. In particular, "Naftogaz" asks the EC to oblige "Gazprom" to put up for sale through the electronic platform significant amounts of gas for delivery on the Ukrainian-Russian border, or at least on the border of Ukraine and the EU. At the same time, Gazprom's customers will be able to buy gas, in particular, at the Russian-Ukrainian border for further independent reservation of GTS capacity and transportation to Europe and/or gas pumping into Ukrainian UGS. Besides, "Gazprom" has to provide technical capacities of its gas transmission system for the export of gas by private Russian producers as well as for the transit of gas from Central Asia.
As earlier reported by RBC-Ukraine on December 21, the exchange price of gas in Europe for the first time exceeded the mark of $2,000 per thousand cubic meters.