Yesterday’s decision by the European Commission to formally charge Gazprom for abusing its dominant market position dampens the development prospects of “Greek Stream”, the local segment of “Turkish Stream”, Moscow’s latest natural gas pipeline proposal for supply to the EU from the south, via the Greek-Turkish border area.
The Brussels decision was reached following a lengthy investigation that concluded the Russian energy giant is imposing geographical restrictions on supply deals with wholesalers and certain industrial consumers in various countries. Gazprom, according to the decision, has also imposed other measures that prevent cross-border natural gas flow.
The European Commission decision was also based on the conclusion that Gazprom is overpricing in five EU member states, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland.
The Russian company has denied it is implementing a strategy that combines geographical restrictions and overpricing.
The European Union’s Third Energy Package, legislative measures intended to further open up the gas and electricity markets in the EU, is at the core of the European Commission’s ruling against Gazprom.
Based on these latest developents, if “Greek Stream” stands any chance of receiving EU approval, offering pipeline access to third parties will be necessary. Russia did not permit this for its previous proposal, South Stream, which led to its indefinite shelving.