An investigation by the European Commission launched in autumn 2012 found that Gazprom broke the EU's competition regulations in many central and eastern European member countries. Commission findings on the matter were delivered to Gazprom in April 2015. Gazprom delivered its response in spring 2017. Last week (May 24), the Commission issued its final ruling in the matter. The ruling mandates that Gazprom, under threat of a fine, modify its contract practices within the EU. Among other things, Gazprom must allow the sale of gas to third parties, commit to upholding market pricing and ease gas deliveries to the four EU member countries dependent on Gazprom pipeline supplies. Observers note that Gazprom has already modified most of its operational practices to conform with EU standards and that the company has promised to abide by the Commission's decision.
Gazprom last year accounted for about 43 % of EU gas imports. About 44 % of natural gas from Russia reached the EU via Ukraine, 24 % via Belarus, and about 30 % via the NordStream gas pipeline, which runs under the Baltic Sea.