European Commission to have right to influence contracts with Gazprom

EU states’ leaders have approved the concept of creating an Energy Union, proposed by the European Commission, unexpectedly quickly and unanimously. This is the toughest energy policy initiative after EU approval of the Third Energy Package in 2009, created a lot of problems for Russia. The Union could become even more headache. The concept assumes that the EC will be entitled to directly influence the commercial agreements on gas supplies, including contracts with Gazprom, which is fraught with further deterioration of the monopoly’s position in Europe. The first experience of the interference in commercial negotiations the EC has already received in the course of the gas conflict between Russia and the Ukraine, and the situation here is in favor of Gazprom.

Creation of the Energy Union was the first theme, which was considered by heads of the European countries during the EU summit on March 19-20. By results of the discussion, the concept, proposed by the EC, was approved without significant changes. In particular, the European Commission will be empowered to provide "full compliance of all agreements related to the purchase of gas from external suppliers with European legislation, in particular by increasing the transparency of such agreements and their compatibility with the EU's energy security".

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