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Putin Says Russia To Watch EU Gazprom Raids

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (right) and Gazprom CEO Aleksei Miller attend a pipeline-opening ceremony in Vladivostok last month.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has said that the Russian government is paying close attention to the situation surrounding recent raids on subsidiaries of the Gazprom state gas monopoly.

The European Commission raided offices of Gazprom subsidiaries and trading partners in 10 Central and Eastern European states last week as part of an investigation into firms involved in the supply, transmission, and storage of natural gas.

The commission has said that the "unannounced inspections" were linked to suspicions about anticompetitive practices.

Putin, speaking at a meeting with Gazprom chief Aleksei Miller, said Russia was closely monitoring the situation but also ordered the company to cooperate with the investigation.

"You should be open, you should help the agencies carrying out these investigations, and you should supply them with objective, complete information," he said. "The Russian government will follow what is going on around Gazprom in the most attentive way."

Meanwhile, Miller said that Russia's new Nord Stream pipeline under the Baltic Sea will deliver its first natural gas to Western Europe on November 8.

compiled from agency reports