March 13, 2017 / 11:03 AM / 4 months ago

EU says Gazprom offer allays worries over anticompetitive behaviour

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BRUSSELS, March 13 (Reuters) - Gazprom is ready to comply with EU rules to end a five-year antitrust case and avoid fines, Europe's competition commissioner said on Monday, signalling a thaw in business ties between Moscow and Brussels despite tensions over Ukraine.

"They address our competition concerns and provide a forward looking solution in line with EU rules," EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement. "We believe that Gazprom's commitments will enable the free flow of gas in Central and Eastern Europe at competitive prices."

The EU executive has invited feedback on its decision from the eight Central and Eastern European states at the heart of the allegations that it overcharged customers and blocked rivals in the region.

In concessions aimed at staving off a potential fine of up to 10 percent of its global turnover, Gazprom has agreed to make changes to price revision clauses in long-term contracts and conditions linked to pipeline infrastructure.

As part of the deal, EU regulators said Gazprom will also drop clauses in its supply contracts with wholesalers and some industrial customers barring them from exporting its gas to other countries. (Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel)

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