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The European Commission vs. Gazprom: An Issue of Fair Competition or a Foreign Policy Quarrel?


The proceedings opened by the European Commission against Russia's gas giant Gazprom for allegedly violating European Union competition rules is likely to have a considerable impact on the future of EU-Russia relations. There are widespread concerns that the probe will contribute to consolidating Russia's apparent zero-sum game approach to foreign policy, thus risking to undermine its long-established energy relationship with the EU. However, while involving risks, the Commission's inquiry also presents itself as a unique opportunity to reorganize Gazprom's business structure in Europe and eventually help both Gazprom itself and EU buyers to best adapt to a rapidly changing global gas market.