BRUSSELS An international law firm failed to produce evidence to back up an unusual accusation that EU officials investigating trade dumping had "bullied" managers at big Russian steelmakers, the EU executive said on Friday.
The European Commission said its Disciplinary Office (IDOC) had decided not to open an inquiry into two staff cited in a complaint made by Dentons last May on behalf of two big Russian steel firms, NLMK and Severstal, both of which have since been hit by punitive tariffs from Brussels.
"No elements of proof were found by IDOC, even to justify the opening of an inquiry," the Commission said in a statement, adding it held staff to the "highest ethical standards".
"There was no element of proof ... put forward by the law firm."
A partner at Dentons' Brussels office, contacted by email, said the firm would not comment before next week.
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Alastair Macdonald and Mark Potter)