OREANDA-NEWS. The European Commission has received a complaint from Ukraine's Naftohaz over "abuse of Russia's Gazprom's dominant position on the European market", an EC spokeswoman, Maria Tsony, has told TASS.

"We received this complaint and we will assess it on the basis of our standard procedures. We do not intend to comment further on it at this time,"- she said.

A Gazprom spokeswoman declined to comment.

"Naftogaz sent a complaint to the EC the day before, on 22 December. The Ukrainian company accused Gazprom of "drastically" cutting supplies of its own gas on the spot market in Europe and also limiting additional supplies from other companies.

According to Naftohaz, in this way the Russian side is trying to artificially create a deficit of gas on the European market and to put pressure on the EU to launch Nord Stream 2 as soon as possible "without complying with the requirements of European legislation". In this connection, the Ukrainian company asked the EC to oblige Gazprom to put up for sale through the electronic platform "significant volumes of gas for delivery at the Ukrainian-Russian border or at least at the border between Ukraine and EU countries", as well as to provide technical capacities of its gas transport system for export of Russian gas produced by private companies and for transit of gas from Central Asian countries.

Exchange prices for gas in Europe broke a record in the autumn, rising above $1,900 per cubic metre. Then the price went down gradually, but on the 21st of December, it made a new high, exceeding $2,000 and then $2,200 per 1,000 cubic meters.

According to Dmitry Marinchenko, senior director of Fitch's Natural Resources and Commodities group, the catalyst for another spike may have been a reduction in pumping through the Yamal-Europe pipeline, comments that Nord Stream 2 may not be commissioned until the second half of 2022, and news of a possible impending cold snap in Europe.