The European Union is preparing to file formal antitrust charges against OAO Gazprom, the Russian state-owned gas giant, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.
The charges by the EU’s competition regulator could be filed on Wednesday, potentially escalating the standoff between Europe and Moscow, the report said.
The European Commission began an investigation of Gazprom’s business practices in some eastern and southern European countries in September 2012, saying it suspected the firm of abusing its dominant position in those countries’ natural-gas supply.
Now a charge sheet, known as a statement of objections, against the energy giant has been put on the agenda of a commission meeting Wednesday, according to the report.
Russian government and Gazprom officials have denounced the EU’s probe as politically motivated and aimed at forcing the company to reduce its prices.
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