UPDATE 2-EU says Gazprom yet to satisfy its concerns over prices

Пятница, 7 февраля 2014 17:56 MSK

* Gazprom faces possible fine of as much as $14.3 billion

* Price disputes with Ukraine led to 2009 Europe shortages

* Gazprom says has addressed European Commission's concerns

By Huw Jones

LONDON, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Gazprom has not yet satisfied the European Commission's concerns over pricing and the European Union's executive body may still charge the state-controlled Russian gas monopoly with antitrust abuses, the EU competition chief said on Friday.

The world's top gas producer and the supplier of a quarter of Europe's gas needs, has been under EU investigation since September 2012 for suspected anti-competitive behaviour, including overcharging customers and blocking rival suppliers.

Gazprom said last month that it was keen to settle the 17-month EU antitrust investigation but would resist regulatory pressure to change its pricing practices in eastern Europe.

Disputes over gas pricing between Russia and Ukraine - through which Gazprom pumps the bulk of its gas to Europe - caused shortages in the region over the winter of 2009.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich's decision in November to deepen trade ties with Russia rather than the EU, which has led to months of violent street protests, may complicate the talks.   Продолжение...