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EU confirms raids on German gas suppliers

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The European Commission has confirmed it has raided “several companies in Germany” over gas supply concerns.

loomberg previously reported that the inspections were carried out at the German offices of Russian gas giant Gazprom: Gazprom Germania GmbH and Wingas GmbH.

In a statement Thursday morning, the EU executive said it carried out “unannounced inspections” on Monday at premises “engaged in the supply, transmission and storage of natural gas”.

“The Commission has concerns that the inspected companies may have breached EU competition rules that prohibit abuse of a dominant position,” the statement said.

Commission and German officials carried out the raids together.

Unannounced inspections are a first step in suspected antitrust violations, but do not prejudge decisions, the commission said.

Since last fall, Brussels has been expressing concerns that Gazprom is holding back gas deliveries to Europe despite rising demand.

Gazprom has declared that it is fulfilling all of its long-term contracts.

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in January she had sent “questionnaires” to a number of energy suppliers, including Gazprom, to explain the supply crisis.

According to Reuters, Russian daily Kommersant reported on Thursday that Gazprom is studying ways to halt gas supplies to “unfriendly” countries.

Last week, President Vladimir Putin threatened to make “unfriendly” countries pay for fuel in rubles from March 31 after several rounds of international sanctions were imposed on Russia’s economy over its invasion of Ukraine.

EU countries, which depend on Russia for around 40 percent of their gas needs, have refused to make payments in rubles.

However, Russia appeared to backtrack on its demands on Wednesday, with the Kremlin spokesman saying that “payments and deliveries are a time-consuming process” – an indication that the March 31 deadline will not be met.

Germany, Russia’s largest gas customer, will continue to pay in euros or dollars, a government spokesman said on Wednesday, adding that Putin had informed the German chancellor that nothing would change for European partners despite his planned ruble payments.

https://www.independent.ie/business/world/eu-confirms-raids-on-german-based-gas-suppliers-41506190.html EU confirms raids on German gas suppliers

Fry Electronics Team

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